Do Companies Give a Rip about Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

By: | November 14th, 2013

GHG Emissions

GHG Emissions (Image Courtesy www.zegreenweb.com)

IndustryTap recently wrote Bluer Skies Ahead with Company’s CO2 Emission Reduction in which Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the multinational healthcare and pharmaceutical giant, was cited for recently making significant progress in its reduction of CO2 emissions and providing leadership in encouraging its suppliers to do the same.

According to the Environmental Investment Organization (EIO), the truth is, other large global companies are failing to report their greenhouse gas emissions. Of the 800 largest companies in the world, only 37% are reporting complete data and adopting principles of greenhouse gas emissions tracking and reporting; only 21% had their data externally verified.

In addition, according to the Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking (ETCR) series only 1 out of 800 of these companies, BASF, reported emissions across its entire value chain. US-based First Energy came in dead last, with no public data reporting and combined “Scope 1,2,3” (see image below) emissions of 10,342.03 tons of CO2e/$1m turnover.

Scopes of GHG Emissions

Scopes of GHG Emissions (Image Courtesy www.cnx.org)

Greenhouse Gas (GHC) Protocol

The GHC Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company’s emissions into three “scopes.” Scope 1 emissions are “direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.” Scope 2 emissions are “indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.” Scope 3 emissions are “all indirect emissions not included in Scope 2 that occurred in the value chain of the company in both ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ emissions.” For more information about the scopes, chain emissions importance and other FAQs, visit Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Due to the lack of tracking and reporting, the world is not getting an accurate reflection in terms of corporate emissions as large amounts are unaccounted for. Europe, led by Italy and Spain, leads the world in disclosure with 35% of its companies reporting complete and independently verified data. This is much better than the US but not nearly good enough if the world is to begin getting a handle on GHG emissions.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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