Setup of a method for calculating organisational greenhouse gas emissions in Scope 3

Protecting the global climate is also an essential task for the water sector. Besides direct process emissions and energy-related greenhouse gases, other upstream and downstream processes (“Scope 3”) are also relevant for calculating the organisational greenhouse gas footprint of water utilities. These include purchased goods such as chemicals, but also contracted services for infrastructure construction or waste disposal.

Although a general framework for accounting Scope 3 emissions has been defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a specific method for calculating them for the water sector is still missing. KWB is cooperating with Berliner Wasserbetriebe in the project SCOPE3M to develop a customised method for water utilities for assessing and reporting their Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions. It involves the collection of operational data in a pre-defined format and connects it to the appropriate greenhouse gas emission factors.

The focus of the project is to develop a method to account for the most relevant Scope3 emissions of a utility in a reproducible way, and ensure regular reporting has a reasonable effort. This method is very important for analysing current greenhouse gas emission profiles, but also for developing mitigation measures and monitoring how they affect the overall balance. Our work in SCOPE3M actively supports the water sector in operating in a more climate friendly manner in the long-term.

System boundaries of greenhouse gas emissions in the water sector for the three scopes of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The focus of the project is Scope3.

Project partner & funding

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