Embodied Carbon Footprints Survey for the GLA

February 2012:  The Greater London Authority (GLA) has commissioned Best Foot Forward to develop a Guide to encourage the wider and more consistent measurement and reporting of embodied (scope 3) carbon from the construction sector. A survey to help inform the study can be undertaken here.

The issue of quantifying indirect – or scope 3 emissions – are discussed in the GLA Climate Change and Mitigation Energy Strategy (CCMES) – released in late 2011. The Strategy sets out that:

“Scope 1 emissions refer to CO2 emissions from the combustionof energy sources within London. Scope 2 emissions refer to CO2 emissions associated with London’s consumption of purchased electricity, irrespective of whether this electricity isgenerated inside or outside of Greater London’s geographic boundaries. CO2 emissions are therefore accounted for at the point of energy use. This avoids double counting of emissions, and savings achieved on them. Scope 3 emissions are not included. Scope 3 emissions refer to all other indirect emissions not covered by scope 2. Examples of scope 3 emissions include those associated with London’s consumption of goods and services, its production of waste, and travel to and from the capital.”

There have been a number of estimates of London’s indirect CO2 emissions. In 2009, a Bioregional and London Sustainable Development Commission report, Capital Consumption, estimated London’s combined Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions to be 90 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) per year based on 2004 data. This compares to 47 MtCO2 per year in 2004 for London’s scope 1 and 2 emissions.

The new study will help inform a specific action in the CCMES which is to expand the number of suppliers included in future measurements of the GLA group’s scope 3 emissions (Action 16.1).

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