Indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 2) (G4-EN16-a) Methodology

In 2018, the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were superseded by the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI standards). This is the methodology for G4-EN16-a which has been superseded by GRI 305-2. The current GRI 305-2 metric can be found here


This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers one of the requirements of Indicator G4-EN16 - 'Energy indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 2)'.

GHG emissions are a major contributor to climate change and are governed by the United Nations (UN) UN ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ and the subsequent UN ‘Kyoto Protocol’. Some GHGs, including methane (CH4), are also air pollutants that have significant adverse impacts on ecosystems, air quality, agriculture, and human and animal health. As a result, different national and international regulations and incentive systems (such as tradable emission permits) aim to control the volume, and reward the reduction of GHG emissions.

This indicator covers the disclosure of energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions, in CO2 equivalents, of the GHGs covered by the UN ‘Kyoto Protocol’ and the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard’.

An organization’s energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions result from the generation of the electricity, heating, cooling, and steam which it purchased from other organizations for its own consumption.

For many organizations the energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions that result from the generation of purchased electricity are much greater than their direct GHG emissions.


This metric is looking for the total indirect (scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions in tonnes of CO2 equivalent:

For WikiRate researchers:

Companies who align reports to GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards often include a GRI Content Index or Annex where GRI disclosures, with GRI codes, are listed.

  • Use the GRI Index, CTRL F, Command F or search button on source preview to search for this index and metrics within the report

  • Use G4 codes, G3 codes or keywords to quickly find values, keeping in mind that some companies report on the metric using different terms, e.g. G4-EN16 or EN16, GHG emissions or greenhouse gas emissions

  • Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value

  • Add comments documenting exactly where within the source you found the information (page number) and include details of simple or complex calculations or conversions made to determine the metric value

  • If you are unable to locate a metric value in a source you can search for additional sources where the data is available and add a new source

Further guidance on how to research values for GRI-based metrics is available here, including detailed guidance on adding, editing and checking metric values.

Global Reporting Initiative compliance guidance for companies:

To calculate energy indirect (scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2) - G4-EN16-a:

  • Identify indirect emissions of GHGs that result from the generation of the electricity, heating, cooling, and steam which is purchased or acquired for own consumption by the organization

  • Calculate the gross energy indirect GHG emissions that result from the generation of purchased electricity, heating, cooling, and steam. Exclude any GHG trades, such as purchases, sales, or transfers of offsets or allowances

Reporting on this Indicator should include the following contextual information as a comment to the metric value:

  • G4-EN16-b: Report gases included in the calculation, if available.

  • G4-EN16-c: Report the chosen base year, the rationale for choosing the base year, emissions in the base year, and the context for any significant changes in emissions that triggered recalculations of base year emissions.

  • G4-EN16-d: Report standards, methodologies, and assumptions used.

  • G4-EN16-e: Report the source of the emission factors used and the global warming potential (GWP) rates used or a reference to the GWP source, if available.

  • G4-EN16-f: Report the chosen consolidation approach for emissions (equity share, financial control, operational control).