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Explained: What are scope 2 emissions

May 25, 2022

When doing carbon accounting, it is incredibly important to understand the differences between scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. This blog post will help you understand what scope 2 emissions are. Learn more about scope 1 emissions here and scope 3 emissions here.

What are scope 2 emissions?

Scope 2 emissions are probably the easiest to understand because they only relate to GHG emissions generated from the consumption of the company’s purchased electricity, steam, heat or cooling.

For most organizations, electricity will be the biggest (sometimes the only) source of scope 2 emissions. Companies can reduce scope 2 emissions by purchasing renewable energy or generating this energy on-site themselves (e.g. by using solar panels on their buildings).

Similar to scope 1, the data on scope 2 emissions of companies is relatively accessible and easy to find. Calculation of those emissions doesn’t require much more than contacting the company’s energy provider and some simple calculations. This is why for most organisations, you will find scope 1 and scope 2 emissions but will have trouble finding information on the last scope (more on that here).

It is important to add that there are two ways for calculating scope 2 emissions: location-based and market-based methods. The location-based method reveals what a company is physically putting into the air, whereas the market-based method presents emissions resulted from purchased energy only (source). Both methods are in use in today’s public reports.

At Connect Earth we provide in-depth insights into scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions data of companies and products through our simple carbon footprint API solution. Our API gives consumers detailed insights about the impact of all their purchases, allowing them to make more sustainable choices.

To learn more about what we do, check our website: https://www.connect.earth/.

About Connect Earth

Connect Earth is an environmental data company based out of London, building the infrastructure for climate-conscious products. We aggregate and standardise environmental data, and make it available through developer-first toolkits. Our core product is an API solution that calculates the carbon impact of spend-based financial transactions, consumers and companies. Connect Earth also works directly with ClimateTechs to offer bespoke data-driven products.