CDP Guidelines for Scope 2 Emissions


In 2016, CDP introduced the most significant update to the questionnaire since its inception. Reporters are now asked to report Scope 2 emissions according to two methodologies: location-based and market-based.

In the location-based approach, average emission factors from the grids on which companies are physically located are used to quantify emissions. The market-based method calculates emissions from contractually-purchased electricity using factors from the provider, utility or certifier. To use a supplier-specific emission factor in reporting, it must meet the Greenhouse Gas Protocol's stringent quality criteria. For companies without the ability to purchase electricity from alternative providers, one Scope 2 emissions total can be reported using only the location-based approach.

Scope 5 allows seamless dual reporting by automatically converting activity data to both location-based and market-based (as well as market-indicative) emissions, at the click of a button.  

It’s possible to either choose which emissions method is used in any chart or report, or compare the differences in emissions results from all three methods side-by-side in the same report. This makes it easy to report totals in sustainability reports, as well as quickly visualize the difference between your electricity suppliers.

Scope 5 offers a small set of standard market-based emissions factors. We can also provide consulting to find, evaluate and integrate supplier-specific emission factors into your account. If you'd like to discuss in further detail, please contact us using the Help button on the right-hand side of the screen.



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