homenews and insights how to calculate and report carbon emissions

How to calculate and report carbon emissions

Gary Stalker
By Gary Stalker
29 March 2021

National Account Manager

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Gary Stalker explains where to find the energy data you need for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, demonstrates a tool to calculate your carbon emissions from electricity, and suggests how you can report lower emissions.

As we build up to COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, set to take place in Glasgow this November, even more focus will fall on climate action. I’m proud to say we’re at the heart of this – SSE is a Principal Partner of COP26, and as a group we’re investing in renewable energy and other solutions to help UK businesses cut carbon.

Further measures that require businesses to act on environmental issues are on the agenda, with the UK Government intending to publish a net zero strategy ahead of COP26. The Climate Change Act amendment of 2019 mandates a net zero UK by 2050, which requires a 100% reduction in net emissions of greenhouse gases relative to 1990 levels.

Calculate and report your Scope 2 emissions

Organisations are facing greater scrutiny of their environmental impact, from customers and investors as well as government – so it’s crucial to consider the carbon footprint of your business.

A number of customers have been asking me about Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) as year-end approaches. Nearly 12,000 larger organisations need to comply with SECR which includes reporting their annual energy consumption and emissions from the energy they buy. This must also include figures from the previous year, as of April 2021.

Greenhouse gas or carbon emissions from the electricity that an organisation buys are known as Scope 2 emissions, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP). Organisations that are subject to SECR need to report yearly figures for energy usage and emissions.

A simple way to enhance your SECR figures is to choose 100% renewable SSE Green Electricity, which allows your organisation to report zero Scope 2 emissions from purchased electricity using the market-based methodology, alongside average emissions using the location-based methodology.

You can calculate your organisation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with our SECR calculator – simply input your electricity consumption for the year. It will demonstrate the difference that certified green energy makes to your SECR reporting. You can also compare carbon emissions using the examples.

Calculate carbon emissions from purchased electricity

Check your energy use and know where your electricity came from

You’ll find your energy consumption on your bills and annual statement. To obtain copy invoices, visit Manage my account and go to the My Bills page – if you need log-in details, please register.

To calculate the CO2 emissions of the electricity we’ve supplied to your organisation, you’ll need to use either our residual fuel mix or the SSE Green fuel mix depending on your contract.

SSE Group is the UK and Ireland’s largest generator of renewable electricity, producing 11.4TWh in 2019-2020 – enough to power the UK’s food industry for nearly a year.* Once our wind and hydro supply has been allocated to SSE Green, what remains is the residual fuel mix for customers choosing our conventional supply products.

Like all major electricity suppliers, our standard fuel mix comes from a combination of generation assets. This reflects both the electricity created by SSE’s generation assets and the electricity we purchase to meet customer demand.

See our fuel mix

SSE Green Electricity: 100% renewable, zero emissions

SSE Green Electricity is backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, where electricity used from the national grid is matched to power generated by SSE wind and hydro assets. The product is also independently verified by EcoAct, an Atos company – providing proof for auditors that it complies with GHGP’s market-based methodology.

Organisations I work with have found that, as well as lowering their emissions for SECR, this shows customers, stakeholders, suppliers and investors that they’ve chosen genuine renewable energy. SSE is committed to investing in clean, green power and aims to deliver enough new renewable projects to generate 30TWh by 2030.

Find out more about SSE Green

What about gas?

As well as electricity, we offer a choice of green gas products to help businesses go further on the road to net zero. Choose SSE Green Gas Plus to report reduced Scope 1 emissions under GHGP, using Biogas and Outside of Scopes factors.

SSE Green Gas Plus is 100% renewable, produced from sources like agricultural materials, food waste and wastewater. It’s backed by Renewable Gas Guarantees of Origin (RGGOs) or Biomethane Certificates (BMCs) – matched to your consumption from the national grid – and independently verified by EcoAct.

Compare our green gas products

Other information to include in your SECR disclosure

For SECR disclosures, organisations must include the methodologies used to calculate them, and at least one intensity ratio. Read more about this.

All organisations to which SECR applies must include information about energy efficiency action taken in their financial year. We can help you manage and save energy.

Myself and our sales team, or your account manager, would be happy to talk you through our net zero solutions for organisations including 100% renewable energy and energy management tools, and how they can help you with CSR reporting.