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How to reduce Scope 2 emissions?

Scope 2 emissions
Drawing up a carbon footprint is a an essential step in the corporate contribution to the fight against climate change. It enables you to understand your carbon footprint by identifying your main emission sources, and to put in place an effective and relevant decarbonization strategy.

The carbon footprint is made up of 3 scopes, which categorize and organize a company's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It can thus be used to quantify a company's carbon footprint.

Scope 1 covers the company's direct greenhouse gas emissions, Scope 2 indirect GHG emissions, and Scope 3 indirect GHG emissions that cannot be controlled by the company. Scope 2 emissions are said to be "indirect" because they are not directly produced by the company, but not by their supplier.

Calculating scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions is a mandatory part of any carbon footprint, regardless of the method used (GHG Protocol, ISO 14061, regulatory method, Bilan Carbone®).

In this article, we'll be focusing on scope 2 and the issues involved.

1. Why reduce Scope 2 emissions?

1.1. A global challenge

1.2. Comply with regulations

1.3. Easy-to-control emissions

1.4. Multiple benefits

2. What is scope 2?

2.1. Distinguishing between primary and final energy

2.2. Scope 2 relates to final energy use

2.3 How is Scope 2 calculated?

3. How to reduce Scope 2 emissions? Options for companies.

3.1 Choosing a green supplier

3.2 Investing in renewable energy

3.3. Improving energy efficiency

3.4. Monitoring energy use and raising awareness.

3.5. Carbon offsetting

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Why reduce Scope 2 emissions?

🌍A planetary challenge

The 2015 Paris agreements set an international target of limiting the rise in average temperature to 2°C by 2100. To achieve this goal, we need to embark on an ecological and energy transition at all levels: international, national and local. As part of this transition, France has set itself the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

To understand this objective, we need to understand the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment and climate.

These emissions contribute to climate change (higher average temperatures, disruption of the water cycle), with numerous consequences: loss of biodiversity, lower agricultural yields and freshwater resources, conflicts, public health problems...

It is therefore important to reduce these emissions, and consequently our carbon footprint, in order to contribute to the ecological and energy transition.

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📑To comply with regulations

L’Union Européenne, dont fait partie la France, a l’objectif de réduire ses émissions de GES de <55% d’ici 2030, par rapport à 1990. Cela se traduit par de nouvelles législations et réglementations au niveau national, qui concernent les entreprises.

Article L229-25 of the French Environment Code stipulates that, as part of the national drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Group is committed to the following principles:

"The following are required to draw up a balance sheet of their greenhouse gas emissions:

1° Legal entities under private law employing more than five hundred people;

2° In the overseas regions and departments, legal entities under private law employing more than two hundred and fifty people engaged in the activities defined in 1°.

Companies with more than 500 employees are therefore legally obliged to carry out a GHG assessment every four years, in order to reduce their GHG emissions (i .e. Scope 2 emissions) and contribute to national GHG emission reduction targets.

🖲️ Easy-to-control emissions

Scope 2 emissions have the advantage of being easy to reduce: they are under the company's control! These emissions depend solely on the choices made by companies, which remain sovereign.

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➕Multiple benefits

Reducing Scope 2 emissions has many advantages:

  • Gaining resilience to climate, geopolitical and energy risks linked to fossil fuels.
  • Reduce your energy bill through energy savings.
  • Position ourselves as a leader in sustainability, demonstrate our commitment to the living world, and improve our carbon competitiveness.
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What is scope 2?

👀Distinguish between primary and final energy

To better understand Scope 2, we need to distinguish between primary and final energy.

Primary energy is the energy available in nature before any transformation. Examples include fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), hydropower and solar energy.

Final energy is the energy delivered to the consumer to satisfy his needs, after having undergone transformations (combustion...) and having been transported by a supplier. Electricity is a good example

⚡Scope 2 relates to final energy use

With this distinction in mind, we can now define scope 2.

Scope 2 refers to the company's indirect greenhouse gas emissions linked to the consumption of final energies: electricity, steam, heat, cooling, which are produced by primary energy sources (wind, gas, oil...) and imported for the company's activities. Emissions are called indirect because they are not directly produced by the company, but by its chosen suppliers. Examples include electricity consumption linked to the operation of the production plant, or the heating or air-conditioning of company premises.

This consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions produced are the responsibility of and can be controlled by the company (and are therefore easy to reduce).

✖️Comment calculate scope 2?

The calculation of scope 2 emissions is mandatory in all existing GHG balance calculation methods and standards (GHG Protocol, Regulatory Method, ISO 14061, Bilan Carbone®). This calculation is made by multiplying the activity data included in the scope by emission factors specific to the types of energy considered.

Activity data are the quantities of energy consumed, and can be found on electricity and other energy bills, or meter readings (electricity, gas...). For electricity and heating, we distinguish two cases:

The emissions factor chosen depends on the energy used and the unit entered (Kwh for example).

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How to reduce Scope 2 emissions? What companies can do.

🔌Choose a green supplier

Choosing a green electricity supplier ensures that the imported electricity needed to run your business is renewable.

🔋Investing in renewable energy

Investing in on-site renewable energy production infrastructure can help reduce Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 emissions by increasing energy autonomy. For example, consider the use of a reversible geothermal heat pump, or create and optimize a heating network.

📈Improving energy efficiency

Improving the energy efficiency of your tools, equipment and premises will help you save energy and reduce your GHG emissions.

For example:

  • Replace neon or halogen lighting with LED technology, and more generally replace traditional light bulbs with low-energy bulbs.
  • Install light sensors/presence detectors for automatic lighting.
  • Replacement of old electric radiators withradiant radiators.
  • Use the hot air outlet from the compressors to heat part of the buildings.
  • Ensure good ventilation in the office to limit air conditioning.
  • Study the possibility of using free-cooling at certain times of the year instead of air-conditioning or chiller cooling.
  • Optimize the fresh air rate of AHUs (Air Handling Units). For example, install a double-flow CMV.
  • Limit cooling requirements to reduce the need for air-conditioning. For example, equip sunny offices with passive solar protection (solar filters, reflective glazing, solar films, external shading, etc.).

🔛Monitoring energy use and raising awareness.

  • Promote energy audits of sites and the follow-up of improvement actions aimed at reducing energy consumption (relamping, insulation, awareness of ecogestures).
  • Encourage staff to put their PCs and screens to sleep during the day.
  • Make staff responsible for turning off lights.

🌳Carbon offsetting

If the above solutions are not feasible, a company can always invest in carbon offset projects to compensate for its scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

You know all about scope 2, whose main advantage is that it's under your control, so it's easy to reduce. Once you've measured your Scope 1 & 2 emissions, you'll need to move on to Scope 3, not forgetting the avoided emissions known as Scope 4.

Carry out your company's carbon inventory with the CGI platform

Carbon offset projects