WRI launches new GHG reporting guidance for businesses

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has launched an updated reporting guidance to help businesses keep track of their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from purchased electricity.

The GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance , originally produced in 2003, has been updated to reflect the rapid growth of renewable energy and other shifts in the electricity market over the last 12 years. Download the full guidance document here.

The WRI says the new framework provides a consistent, transparent way for companies to show how different types of electricity purchases count toward their emissions targets, and will inform corporate decisions on what kind of energy should power their business.

“Currently, companies consume half of all electricity produced so any solution for reducing global emissions has to address the electricity sector,” said lead author Mary Sotos.

“This guidance will let companies know exactly how their energy choices count toward their emissions goals. By providing rigorous reporting methods, the Guidance gives a clear incentive for companies to demand low-carbon electricity.”

Industry reaction

The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) –  who collaborated with WRI throughout the four-year drafting process –  has “broadly welcomed” the publication, but warned of some potential challenges for sustainability managers.

IEMA’s Policy & Practice expert Nick Blyth said: “Given the complexity of this area I am pleased to see that the published WRI guidance has sought to address key principles such as transparency through its dual reporting approach.

“The guidance should ultimately help decision-makers and wider stakeholders to understand the full picture with respect to GHG emissions, and most importantly the scope for reducing overall energy consumption and for improvements through contracts and tariffs.”

Dual reporting requires companies to report a grid-average figure (location-based), as well as allowing them to account for emissions from any purchased renewable electricity (market-based).

Blyth also added that the complexity of the issue required sustainability professionals to play an active role in advising organisations on these issues and in implementing the new guidance to ensure fair, credible and transparent GHG data and accounting.

VIDEO: WRI’s Mary Soto explains the new protocol

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie