Explainer: Guide to Scope 2 emissions


Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat, or steam. Unlike Scope 1, these emissions occur at the place where the energy is generated, not where it is used.

Differences from Scope 1 and Scope 3

Scope 2 emissions are indirect, associated with energy bought and used by the company.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company.

Scope 3 emissions include all other indirect emissions in a company’s value chain, beyond energy use.

Typical Sources of Scope 2 Emissions

Common sources include the electricity used in offices, manufacturing processes, and heating/cooling in buildings. The impact depends on the grid's carbon intensity where the energy is consumed.

Measuring and Reporting Scope 2 Emissions

Organisations calculate Scope 2 emissions based on energy consumption data and the emissions factor of the purchased energy. Reporting follows protocols like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which differentiates between market-based and location-based calculations.

Scope 2 Emissions in Electricity Consumption

For companies, Scope 2 emissions are a significant part of their carbon footprint, especially for those in sectors with high electricity or thermal energy needs. Reducing these emissions often involves energy efficiency measures and sourcing renewable energy.

Get your weekly briefing

Sign up to get the free climate data briefing in your inbox every week.