The concept of 1, 2 and 3 scopes is introduced in the most widely used international greenhouse gas accounting standard, the GHG Protocol.
Scope 3 takes into account all indirect greenhouse gas emissions that were not included in Scope 1 and 2. Currently, greenhouse gas emissions (hereinafter referred to as GHG) of Scope 3 are not subject to mandatory reporting in accordance with the GHG Protocol standard and according to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 355 dated March 14, 2022, which considers only direct emissions from stationary, flaring, as well as fuel combustion in transport and emissions from technological processes and waste.
The GHG Protocol Scope 3 Indirect Emissions are divided into 15 different Categories. Such a multi-channel division is made for greater convenience in accounting for all possible greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, these 15 categories are divided into two types of flows in the supply chain: upstream and downstream emissions: Upstream emissions and Downstream emissions, respectively. In this article, we will analyze only updrafts and a few examples of calculating greenhouse gas emissions according to international standards.
First, let’s understand what upstreams are. Below is a diagram from the international greenhouse gas accounting standard – GHG Protocol: Technical Guidance for Calculating Scope 3 Emissions.
Upstreams include emissions from raw materials, goods and services purchased by the organization, excluding those emissions that are included in Scope 1 and 2. These emissions are generated outside the factory during the creation of purchased products. Downstreams, respectively, include those emissions that are generated outside the plant from the operation and completion of the life cycle of its products.
Emissions from the production of raw materials, goods and services purchased for the enterprise are taken into account.
For example, a factory needs to use metal to carry out a manufacturing process. Thus, Category 1 will take into account emissions from metal production.
Emissions from the production of large equipment (means of production) that are purchased for the enterprise are included.
* Emissions from transportation of Cat.1 and Cat.2 goods will be accounted for in Cat. 4 Reach 3
To calculate greenhouse gases in this category, the printing house will take into account, for example, emissions from the production of printers that were purchased in the reporting year and are in operation.
At first glance, the outliers included in this category may be difficult to identify, but once you figure it out, everything is simple. Here greenhouse gas emissions are divided into 4 types of emissions from:
1 – the life cycle of the fuel consumed by the company
Emissions in this area of the category include emissions from the life cycle of fuel purchased and consumed by the company (extraction, production and transportation of fuel).
Suppose a plant purchases diesel fuel for production needs. Emissions from the production of diesel fuel (i.e. its life cycle until it enters the production process) will be accounted for in this Category 3 item.
2 – production of electricity lost due to losses in the networks.
Emissions from this category include emissions from the production of electricity that was lost in the networks during the transmission and distribution of energy.
The energy used by the plant is generated at a thermal power plant, which is transmitted through networks to the plant. In the process of energy transfer, it is lost in the networks. The difference between the electricity supplied from the TPP and the electricity supplied to the plant is considered a loss of electricity in the network and is taken into account in point 2 of Category 3 of Scope 3. Regional authorities provide statistics with the percentage of energy losses in the networks, which is freely available.
3 – the life cycle of the fuel used to produce the consumed energy (electricity, steam, heat, cold).
Emissions from this category arise from the production of fuel used by the company from which the reporting enterprise buys energy for its own needs (extraction, production and transportation of fuel used in the production of electricity, steam, heat and cold).
Suppose the energy used by the plant is generated by a thermal power plant, which, in turn, uses lignite to produce it. Thus, emissions accounted for in point 3 of Scope 3 Category 3 will include greenhouse gas emissions from the mining and production of lignite, i.e. from its life cycle.
4 – energy production for sale to end users. This category applies only to utility companies and energy suppliers.
Includes emissions from:
In other words, emissions from the delivery of all products that enter the facility are accounted for in this category.
For the production process, the plant needs to use sand. Emissions from the transport of this material to the plant should be included in this category.
This category includes emissions resulting from the disposal and processing of waste generated at the enterprise, but disposed of or recycled only by third parties. Category 5 of Scope 3 may include the following activities:
During the production process, the plant produces residues of cardboard and paper. The company delivers the resulting materials to the processing plant. The process from which emissions will be accounted for in this Category in this case is the processing of cardboard and paper in a processing plant.
If the reporting company is engaged in the disposal and processing of generated waste on its own, then greenhouse gas emissions from these processes will be included in Scope 1.
Category 6 – Business and travel travel of employees
This includes emissions from travel and business travel of the reporting company’s employees, which may result from:
– railway transport;
– other types of vehicles (metro, electric bicycles and scooters);
Two employees of the enterprise went to a conference on a new production technology, which is taking place in another city. You can get there by plane and taxi to and from airports in both cities. Emissions in this category will correspond to emissions from fuel combustion by a two-person aircraft and a taxi car.
This category includes GHG emissions from the transportation of employees of the reporting company between home and workplace in the reporting year. They may result from:
– railway transport;
– other types of vehicles (metro, electric bicycles and scooters);
* Scope 6 and Scope 7 emissions are included in Scope 1 and Scope 2 of transport providers.
Some employees come to work by public transport – by bus. Scope 3 Scope 7 emissions will take into account emissions from bus fuel combustion.
Scope 8 includes emissions from the operation of assets that were leased by the reporting company in the reporting year and are not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2. This category is applicable to companies that use and manage leased assets (ie lessees). Greenhouse gas emissions that result from the lease of assets to others are accounted for in Category 13 of Scope 3 Leases of downstream assets.
The reporting company leases an office from the landlord. Emissions from the landlord resulting from the operation of the office (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) should be accounted for under this category.
Now let’s give some examples of GHG emissions calculations for Scope 3. Examples for the most common Categories for calculation:
There is no single base with coefficients for this category. However, the odds must be obtained from trusted sources. Such sources can be, for example, the OpenLCA database, ready-made EPDs and LCAs for products. The latter can be found on the official Environdec website.
Example: A company purchases 200 kg of aluminum profiles and 55 kg of polypropylene for production needs. Define Scope 3 Category 1 outliers.
The first step is to find out whether the inventory of greenhouse gases was carried out by the companies – suppliers of purchased products.
Assume that a manufacturer of aluminum profiles (AP) there is carbon reporting, which indicates that the production of 1 kg of profiles accounts for 5.61 kg of CO2e. Thus, the GHG emissions of the reporting company that purchased 200 kg of AP will be:
200 x 5.61 = 1,122 kgCO2e
The producer of granulated polypropylene (GP) has not identified the amount of GHGs resulting from the production of the supplied product, so coefficients must be used. Turning to the OpenLCA database, we see that 1.896 kg of CO2e falls on 1 kg of polypropylene produced. Thus, the GHG emissions of the reporting company that purchased 55kg of polypropylene would be:
55 x 1.896 = 104.28 kgCO2e
Thus, the emissions of this company under Category 1 of Scope 3 within the two purchased products will be:
1 122 + 104.28 = 1 226.28 kgCO2e = 1.22 tCO2e
Transportation of purchased goods – the same aluminum profiles and granulated polypropylene – is carried out by different modes of transport. 200 kg of AP are delivered by air transport, which covers a distance of 367 kilometers.
Factors for Category 4 emission calculations are provided in the GHG Protocol databases, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) GHG inventory databases, the actual values of the global warming potential for different greenhouse gases are described in the IPCC Reports. Let’s use the following data:
Table: GHG emission factors for Scope 4 Scope 3 from the GHG Protocol converted to metric units
Thus, GHG emissions from AP transportation under Category 4 will be:
0.2 x 0.72 x 1 + (0.2 x 0.022 x 265)/1000 = 0.145 kgCO2e
Where 1 and 265 are the global warming potentials for CO2 and N2O, respectively, according to the Fifth Climate Report published by the IPCC, and division by 1000 is done to convert grams of greenhouse gas to kilograms.
Suppose 10 people who work for a company drive their own car to get to work. The average path is 15km.
Factors for calculating Scope 4 emissions are provided by the IPCC. Let’s use the following data:
Thus, GHG emissions for a trip to work of 10 people under Category 7 will be:
10 x 0.2119 x 1 + (10 x 0.0056 x 28) / 1000 + (10 x 0.0050 x 265) / 1000 \u003d 2.13 kgCO2e
Where 1, 28, and 265 are the global warming potentials for CO2, CH4, and N2O, respectively, from the Fifth Climate Report published by the IPCC, and division by 1000 is done to convert grams of greenhouse gas to kilograms.
Author: Marina Kоuprianova, Alina Melkova