Carbon footprint is a type of ecological footprint and one of the measures of a company’s impact on the environment. Footprint calculations and data management show a strong climate awareness in the organisation. Identifying the greenhouse gas emissions of an organisation’s processes makes it possible to manage them effectively and deploy mitigation measures.
Carbon footprint is the total sum of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH3), carbon oxide (N2, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6, caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organisation, event or product.
Sector cooperation for a unified approach to carbon footprinting
In April 2021, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna began active and deliberate efforts to implement a standard for calculating carbon footprint at PGE Group. Internal activities were undertaken in PGE Group within the framework of the established team for carbon footprint calculations, as well as external activities – within the framework of cooperation with the Polish Association of Professional Heat and Power Plants (PTEZ), which resulted in the development of a joint manual for carbon footprint calculations for the energy industry, with the substantive support of Bureau Veritas. The manual has been developed in accordance with ISO 14064 and GHG Protocol Standards and is designed to calculate the carbon footprint at different levels of the organisation. The manual has been developed in accordance with ISO 14064 and GHG Protocol Standards and is designed to calculate the carbon footprint at different levels of the organisation. PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna, PGE Energia Ciepła and Zespół Elektrociepłowni Wrocławskich KOGENERACJA. The work on the development of the manual also involved the team responsible for the carbon footprint calculations at PGE Group.
The developed “Manual for Uniform Footprint Capture for Electricity and Heat Sector Entities” with an integrated IT tool aims at a uniform footprint capture for electricity and heat sector entities, including a proper approach to carbon footprint calculations as follows:
- Scope 1 – these are direct emissions to the atmosphere from installations (equipment, vehicles, machinery, boilers, plants) that are owned or controlled by the organisation;
- Scope 2 – these are indirect emissions related to the use of energy consumed by the company to operate its facilities, both owned and leased (electricity, heat, cold, transport and distribution losses);
- Scope 3 – these are other indirect emissions that occur throughout the business value chain, i.e. purchases of goods and services, business travel, commuting to and from work, capital goods, etc.);
- biogenic emissions – these are emissions related to the natural carbon cycle and result from the combustion, fermentation, decomposition or processing of materials of biological origin.
Based on this document, PGE Group developed a standard for calculating the carbon footprint to be applied by Group companies. The key in this process was the preparation of the companies and their training, in particular with regard to the identification of emission sources, their classification and appropriate conversion into CO2 equivalent using the available and defined CO2 emission factor appropriate for a given reporting year. In subsequent years, it will be important to calculate the carbon footprint for a given reporting year based on updated CO2 emission factors appropriate for that calendar year. As more data becomes available, in particular on the available emission factors for individual emission sources, and as maturity of the organisation continues to develop, this process is expected to be streamlined in subsequent years. At the same time, it will enable the development of specific emission reduction targets.
PGE Group's carbon footprint
As part of a pilot project, PGE Group calculated its carbon footprint for the year 2020. However, in order to responsibly count the data and obtain comparable results within the sector, it treats the data for 2021 as the base, in which the carbon footprint was calculated on the basis of a manual developed in cooperation with PTEZ. The method adopted there is a consistent approach to counting the footprint in the electricity sector in the country.
The volume of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 was calculated for key PGE Group companies with significant operations and significant influence over the level of carbon footprint, especially in terms of direct emissions within scope 1 and taking into account the amount of charges for environmental use and water services. The carbon footprint was calculated in full scope and encompassed the following PGE Group companies, which are decisive in terms of carbon footprint generation:
- PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna,
- PGE Energia Ciepła,
- Zespół Elektrociepłowni Wrocławskich KOGENERACJA,
- PGE Toruń,
- Elektrociepłownia Zielona Góra,
- PGE Energia Odnawialna,
- PGE Dystrybucja,
- PGE Ekoserwis,
- PGE Obrót,
- PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA,
- PGE Baltica,
- PGE Systemy,
- PGE Dom Maklerski.
Other PGE Group companies which will be assessed as likely to have a significant impact on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions will be gradually incorporated into this process.
|PGE Group’s carbon footprint in 2021||t CO2e|
|Fuels, of which:||70,169,857|
|– hard coal||25,083,918|
|– natural gas||1,954,130|
|– other fuels||439,043|
|Refrigerants and other gases||51,836|
|Total scope 1||70,986,410.3|
|of which EU-ETS emissions (%)||99.7|
|Scope 2 Market-based*, of which:||2,183,395|
|Electricity losses in transmission and distribution||1,379,892|
|Purchased electricity for own use||759,699|
|Purchased thermal energy for own use||43,804|
|Scope 2 Location-based**||2,183,836|
|Category 3. Energy- and fuel-related emissions||22,191,648|
|Category 1. Purchased goods and services||821,824|
|Category 10. Processing of sold products||755,065|
|Category 2. Capital goods||508,996|
|Category 4. Upstream – transport and distribution||259,805|
|Category 5. Waste resulting from operations||75,014|
|Category 11. Use of sold products||74,949|
|Category 7. Commuting of workers||34,965|
|Category 6. Business trips||158|
|Total scope 3||24,722,424.4|
|Total scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 Market-based||97,892,230|
|Total scope 1 + scope 2 + scope 3 Location-based||97,892,670.8|
Conventional generation is responsible for 85.5% of PGE Group’s calculated carbon footprint. Scope 3 accounts for approx. 25% of the total carbon footprint, understood as the sum of Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.
A detailed calculation of the carbon footprint in all scopes for an organisation as complex as PGE was no easy task, which nonetheless we successfully accomplished. We continue working to identify even more precisely all greenhouse gas emissions along the entire value chain and report them, inter alia, as part of Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaires. At the same time, the activities we undertake support us in planning a reduction of PGE Group's carbon footprint by preparing appropriate development plans that take into account the environmental impact.
Methodology and emission factors
Data on the organisation’s activities is monitored in accordance with the implemented process for calculating the carbon footprint at PGE Group. Emissions were calculated in accordance with the following standards: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard Revised Edition-GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance and Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard. CO2 emissions of biogenic origin were identified and reported separately. Operational and/or financial control within the Group was adopted as the consolidation criterion, meaning that 100% of the companies’ emissions were attributed to PGE Group. The sources of emission factors were publications from the following databases: National Balancing and Emission Management Centre (KOBiZE), DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) database, European Environment Agency (EEA) and Ecoinvent 3.6.GWP (Global Warming Potential factor) coefficients for refrigerants were adopted according to the 5th IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report.
By using a uniform approach to counting the carbon footprint, the data will be comparable within the sector.