April 1, 2022

Scope 4 Avoided Emissions: Everything You Need to Know 

Scope 4 Avoided Emissions: Everything You Need to Know 
Contents

The term scope 4 emissions refers to emission reductions that happen outside of a product’s life cycle or value chain, but as a result of the use of that product. It also includes home working emissions.

If you want to learn about scope 4 emissions and reporting avoided emissions then this is for you. In this article we'll talk about what scope 4 avoided emissions are and reasons for reporting emissions accurately.

What are avoided emissions?

Goods and services that avoid emissions could be low-temperature detergents, fuel-saving tires, energy-efficient ball-bearings, and teleconferencing services. 

Home working emissions are included because although one is still using the lights, heat, teleconferencing services at home, they have avoided using transportation with fuel, and using energy in a much bigger office with more people. The employee could also avoid business trips with flights that cause large amounts of emissions by emitting less with the teleconferencing services.

scope emissions chart

Why we should we report scope 4 emissions 

There is a rush to progress in the area of climate change and reverse some of the damage or we don't have a chance of staying under a 1.5C increase compared to pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement encourages us to stay well under a 2C increase but if companies want to stay competitive and stakeholders are demanding going further than net zero and becoming carbon negative, then we need to report as many emissions accurately as we can. It is also necessary for value chains to report these emissions to be able to stay competitive in their fields with conscious consumers and investors that ask for ESG reporting data.

For example, if a company creates a product and optimizes it to emit less CO2 during its life cycle then emissions can be reported according to the making of the product from the beginning of the value chain until it reaches the end user, and then the estimated calculated emissions of what would be used during the product's life cycle. So the overall reduction has been made by optimizing the product and the emissions are now lower over the life cycle. (During the manufacturing and logistics processes the scopes 1 and 2 were counted for and scope 3 if they report the up and downstream emissions if the outside companies in the value chain don't count their scopes 1 and 2s). The avoided emissions are what would have been had the product never been optimized or complimented. 

Some stakeholders are concerned that the emissions from making a new product will be too much. If the pros outweigh the cons and in the long-term the life cycle emissions of the product are less damaging than the former, and all scopes were counted for, then it will improve the environment given the manufacturing process is as clean as efficient as it can be.

Related content

If you want to learn more about scope reporting and carbon reductions, check out our free resources:

• Article: What Are Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions?
• Article: Scope 3 Emissions: Contributing Factors, Measurement and Reduction
• Article: What Is a Carbon Offset and Why Do Companies Need It to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions?

Benefits of reporting scope 4 emissions

  • This helps conscious consumers make informed decisions about purchases that are environmentally friendly and have the data to back it up.
  • Over a third of companies that were surveyed in 2017 by the CDP claim they make products that help minimize the carbon footprint.
  • To stay competitive in the supply chain amongst investors and consumers is to offer products that aren't emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • It helps in determining risk factors with investors and having proper data for ESG reporting.
  • It is beneficial information to know for the future product creation process and transitioning to low carbon or carbon free product lines.
  • This ensures transparency and goes along with the change of consumer behavior and their demand for carbon free goods and services.

How do you calculate avoided emissions?

Any emissions can be counted for in Net0's carbon accounting platform and you can read more about these in detail in the GHGP Corporate Value Chain Standard. However, it isn't necessary to study all of that unless you want a greater understanding of each of the scope emissions because Net0 categorizes and itemizes the emissions for you. The platform automatically calculates the data you provide through utility bills, invoices, and anything you have made emissions for. With the provided information, Net0 reports the emissions vs. offsets in real-time so you and your stakeholders always know where you are in your net zero journey. 

Homeworking scope 4 emissions

You can also report homeworking emissions of your employees just as you would for a conventional workplace. Either manually or by using automation uploading invoices and bills, employee home working emissions can be calculated by Net0's emissions management platform just the same. These include any energy use from electronics, lighting, cooling, heating, cooking, driving emissions for necessary outings, and any other emissions that are in the nature of the job. Even food services have been turned to home bases to name an example of something out of the range of office life.

In summary

Knowing more about scope 4 emissions will help your company with transparency and help you make better decisions. Reporting them accurately will improve the environment and your company rapport amongst stakeholders and green talent.

Considering all of the facts about scope 4 avoided emissions, you can now take steps to accurately report the emissions within your control. Book a call with us to see how easy it is to measure, reduce, offset, report, and certify all of your emissions in our easy-to-use platform.

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FAQ

What’s the difference between gross zero and net zero?

Again, net zero is coming to a balance between emissions and those which have been removed from the atmosphere. Gross zero means stopping all emissions, period.

Again, net zero is coming to a balance between emissions and those which have been removed from the atmosphere. Gross zero means stopping all emissions, period.
How soon can we start?

You can usually start using the system within a week of contract signature. Book a call with us to start.

You can usually start using the system within a week of contract signature. Book a call with us to start.
Do you help with setting up the processes?

Yes, our team will help you set up the platform and provide you with guidance on how to use it.

Yes, our team will help you set up the platform and provide you with guidance on how to use it.
What type of clients have you successfully helped?

We work with companies from different industries, from professional services and tech businesses to construction companies and manufacturing sites.

We work with companies from different industries, from professional services and tech businesses to construction companies and manufacturing sites.
What sets Net0 apart from others on the market?

Net0 offers simplicity, automation, no-code integrations, and provides an activity-based approach meaning the calculations are done by co2e tonnage and not by how much money was spent on the activity that led to emissions.

Net0 offers simplicity, automation, no-code integrations, and provides an activity-based approach meaning the calculations are done by co2e tonnage and not by how much money was spent on the activity that led to emissions.
Why do companies choose to work with Net0?

Net0 is the most comprehensive solution to recording, measuring, tracking, offsetting, and certifying emissions all in one place and in minutes. Net0 also enables organizations to invite anyone they want to contribute to the dashboard, being all-inclusive and simple to use.

Net0 is the most comprehensive solution to recording, measuring, tracking, offsetting, and certifying emissions all in one place and in minutes. Net0 also enables organizations to invite anyone they want to contribute to the dashboard, being all-inclusive and simple to use.

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