Scope 2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reporting

Sept 29th, 2023

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol Corporate Standard) developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is the global standard for calculating corporate GHG emissions.

The GHG protocol subdivides greenhouse (GHG) emissions into 3 different scopes: Scope 1 GHG emissions, also called direct emissions, result from sources owned or controlled by a company. These are for example emissions caused by the combustion of fuels in company owned boilers, furnaces, or vehicles. Scope 2 and 3 emissions are so called indirect emissions. Scope 2 emissions represent GHG emissions from the generation of purchased energy (electricity, steam, heat, or cooling). Scope 3 emissions are all other GHG emissions that occur along a company’s value chain and are not part of scope 1 and 2.

Scope 2 and 3 in ecoinvent

The GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard defines several categories for scope 3 reporting for which the ecoinvent database provides a rich pool of secondary data. The ecoinvent database helps reporters to fill data gaps by providing the following:

  • regional or global average GHG emission factors
  • average transport distances and modes
  • regional product and technology mixes

The following table summarises the data available in the ecoinvent Database for each of the scope 3 reporting categories, as defined in the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (Chapter 7.2, Table [7.4], p.72-73).

With the release of ecoinvent v3.8, separated scope 2 and 3 emission factors (given as kg of CO2 equivalent/kWh of electricity) for electricity producing activities and electricity markets are now available in the spreadsheet “electricity emission factors – scope 2 – 3.xlsx”. The emission factors are representative for the end consumers of electricity and refer to the location-based reporting method, i.e., they represent grid average emission factors. On top of this, the new spreadsheet also provides disaggregated emissions (given as kg/kWh of electricity) and emission factors (given as kg of CO2 equivalent/kWh of electricity) for individual greenhouse gases or groups of greenhouse gases.

The spreadsheet “electricity emission factors – scope 2 – 3.xlsx” and an associate report can be found in the Files section of ecoQuery.

Explore this example of a company using ecoinvent data for GHG reporting: ClimatePartner