The updated Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance features Guarantees of Origin (GO), REC and I-REC as mainstream instruments for documenting and tracking electricity consumed from renewable sources. The clarification companies will gain from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance has the potential to transform energy buying practices in the corporate world.
Companies and governments are increasingly looking to contribute to a sustainable future, by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. But you can only change what you measure. International frameworks and reporting standards are key to help companies and governments map their green house gas emissions, report the results and signal to the market the demand for renewable energy. Today, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG-P) is the most widely used international accounting framework to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions.
Guarantees of Origin – documentation of renewable electricity consumption
To easily and transparently report emissions and origin of the electricity consumed, the World Resources Institute January 2015 presented an updated Greenhouse Gas Protocol Accounting Guidance Scope 2. For the first time in Scope 2’s Accounting Guidance, Guarantees of Origin (GO), REC and I-REC are directly featured as instruments to document electricity consumed from renewable sources.
The GHG-P Scope 2 categorises indirect emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam. “By the Scope 2 Accounting Guidance including Guarantees of Origin as best practice tracking system of power attributes, more companies are encouraged to document that they use electricity from renewable sources,” said Tom Lindberg, Managing Director, ECOHZ from Taiwan.
“Guarantees of Origin reduce companies’ CO2 footprint, increase awareness of the origin of the electricity consumed and send a signal to the market that companies prefer electricity from renewable energy sources. Over time this documented demand for low carbon energy solutions will change energy behaviour.” This will encourage businesses to measure, manage and report their greenhouse gas emissions from their electricity consumption and increasingly switch to power from renewable sources.
In addition to frameworks, the corporate world is looking for innovative solutions that generate more renewable power to the grid – fast. ECOHZ has developed a new concept called GO2 that combines the Guarantees of Origin (GO) documentation with top financing to named new renewable projects. GO2 is an accessible, low risk entry for companies to engage and quickly unlock renewable energy projects; bring more renewable energy to the grid. The GHG-P Scope 2 recommends GO2 and EKOenergy as relevant and recommendable products to engage further in the promotion of renewable power.
EKOenergy has translated a summary of the Scope 2 Guidance into 17 languages. Link to the summaries here.
Key changes in accounting and reporting electricity emissions (Scope 2)
At a conference in Taiwan in December 2014, Mary Sotos from WRI presented a short document with the key changes based on the new GREENHOUSE GAS Protocol Scope 2 Guidance.
- For most companies, scope 2 is no longer one number—it is two. Companies shall report scope 2 according to a location-based method and a market-based method.
- Instruments used as emission factors in the market-based method must meet Scope 2 Quality Criteria.
- Companies should disclose key features and policy context of their contractual instruments.
Link to the document with key changes here.
Read the interview with Mary Sotos, Project Manager, World Resources Institute on how businesses can use the Scope 2 Guidance here.
Link to FAQ Scope 2 Emissions Reduction Activities and CDP Climate Change Scoring in 2014 here.
If you are interested in more information about Greenhouse Gas Protocol or how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint by documenting the electricity that you consume, please send Preben Munch a note firstname.lastname@example.org or call his cell +41 78 659 2603.