Calculating Your Carbon Emissions: A GHG Protocol-aligned Guide

Understanding and managing your carbon emissions is a critical step towards sustainability. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol establishes comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions from private and public sector operations, value chains, and mitigation actions. At SC&B Green, we align our methodologies with the GHG Protocol to ensure accuracy and comparability across industries. This page offers a guide on calculating your emissions according to the GHG Protocol, focusing on Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Scope 1: Direct Emissions

Definition: Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. For businesses, this might include fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc.

Calculation Steps:

1. Identify Direct Emission Sources: List all owned or controlled sources that release GHGs directly into the atmosphere.

2. Gather Activity Data: Collect data on the quantity of fuels consumed or GHGs emitted directly by these sources.

3. Apply Emission Factors: Use appropriate emission factors to convert activity data into CO2e emissions.

Calculation Steps

  1. Collect Energy Consumption Data: Record the amount of electricity, steam, heating, and cooling purchased and consumed within your operations.
  2. Use Location-based and Market-based Methods: Apply both methods where applicable. The location-based method reflects the average emissions intensity of grids on which energy consumption occurs. The market-based method reflects emissions from electricity that companies have specifically purchased or contracted.
  3. Calculate CO2e Emissions: Multiply the energy consumed by the emission factor for the corresponding energy source.

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions

Definition: Scope 2 accounts for indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company.

Scope 3: Other Indirect Emissions

Definition: Scope 3 encompasses all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

Calculation Steps:

1. Identify Scope 3 Categories: Scope 3 includes 15 categories ranging from purchased goods and services to employee commuting and use of sold products.

2. Gather Data for Each Relevant Category: This involves collecting data on activities related to each category applicable to your operations, such as the weight of purchased materials or distance traveled by commuting employees.

3. Apply Emission Factors: For each category, apply suitable emission factors to translate activity data into CO2e emissions.

Tools and Resources

The GHG Protocol provides calculation tools, emission factor databases, and guidance documents to aid in accurately calculating Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. SC&B Green offers expert consulting services to navigate these resources effectively, ensuring your emissions calculations align with global standards and best practices.

Why Accurate Calculation Matters

Accurate emissions calculation enables organizations to identify significant emission sources, set reduction targets, track performance, and communicate efforts transparently to stakeholders. It lays the groundwork for effective climate action plans and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Collaborate with SC&B Green

Leveraging the GHG Protocol’s framework, SC&B Green is dedicated to assisting organizations in accurately calculating their carbon footprint across all scopes. Our expertise ensures not only compliance but strategic insights that drive sustainability and operational excellence.