The CarbonNeutral Protocol Index

1.3 Corporate value chain (Scope 3) accounting and reporting


The GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (also referred to as the Scope 3 Standard) developed by the WRI and the WBCSD provides requirements and guidance for companies preparing and publicly reporting GHG emission inventories that include indirect emissions resulting from value chain activities (i.e. Scope 3 emissions). The Scope 3 Standard complements and builds upon the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to promote additional completeness and consistency in the way companies account for and report on indirect emissions from value chain activities.

The Scope 3 Standard groups Scope 3 emissions into 15 distinct categories, as shown in Table 5 below. The categories are intended to provide companies with a systematic framework to organise, understand, and report on the diversity of Scope 3 activities within a corporate value chain.

The CarbonNeutral Protocol adopts this framework to identify which emission sources are required and recommended for its various CarbonNeutral® entity certifications. This is to ensure consistency of reporting between The CarbonNeutral Protocol and the Scope 3 Standard.

In line with emerging best practice for entity certifications, all applicable Scope 3 emissions sources should, as far as practicable, be included in the assessment of the subject’s GHG emissions. However, in many cases it will not be practical to collect data for all Scope 3 sources (e.g. upstream emissions associated with purchased goods and services).

The Protocol requires the inclusion of certain Scope 3 emissions (waste generated in operations, business travel, etc) for certain certifications. The inclusion of any other Scope 3 emissions is at the discretion of the client.

Clients should consider the following issues when determining which additional Scope 3 emissions sources to include:

  1. The influence that the company has over abatement opportunities
  2. The likely contribution those emissions make to the subject’s overall footprint – where an emission’s source is judged likely to be material, it should be included
  3. The availability of reliable data

For additional information about the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard and its 15 Scope 3 categories refer to: www.ghgprotocol.org/standards/scope-3-standard

Table 5: The GHG Protocol: Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol, 2011, Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, link)