Scope 2 emissions
Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from the consumption of purchased or acquired electricity, heat, or steam by an organization. These emissions occur outside of an organization's operational boundaries but are associated with the electricity and energy sources used to support its activities. Scope 2 emissions are typically generated by external providers of energy.
Scope 2 emissions are considered indirect because they are a consequence of the organization's activities but occur at the point of energy generation, not within the organization's immediate control.
However, organizations can still influence their scope 2 emissions by making choices about the types of energy sources they procure. Switching to renewable energy providers or generating renewable energy on-site through solar panels or wind turbines can help reduce scope 2 emissions and support the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
What are Types of Scope 2 Emissions
Scope 2 emissions can be categorized based on the market-based approach and the location-based approach for calculating emissions. Therefore scope 2 emissions take into consideration both the emissions intensity of the electricity they purchase (market-based) and the emissions intensity of the broader electricity grid (location-based). These are:
Market-based emissions refer to the GHG emissions associated with the specific electricity or energy sources that an organization purchases. This approach takes into account the emissions factors of the energy sources used by the electricity providers. If an organization procures renewable energy or participates in green energy programs, the emissions factor associated with the purchased electricity will be lower, resulting in reduced market-based scope 2 emissions.
Location-based emissions are calculated based on the average emissions intensity of the grid where an organization operates. This approach considers the emissions factors associated with the overall mix of electricity generation in a specific geographic location. It does not account for the specific purchasing choices made by the organization. Location-based scope 2 emissions are often used as a baseline or starting point for organizations to assess their environmental impact and set reduction targets.