Assessment of EDF group greenhouse gas emissions
EDF(1) publishes an Assessment of greenhouse gas emissions covering the entire EDF group(2) and all the main emissions sources defined by the GHG Protocol(3). It makes progress every year in analysing its emissions to produce information that is as accurate and exhaustive as possible. EDF goes beyond the legal requirements and refuests a verification by a third party of more than 70% of its emissions – of which 98% Scope 1, 73% Scope 2 and 66% Scope 3 – verified by a third party.
The analysis focuses on Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the GHG Protocol, covering the greenhouse gases listed in the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC, SF6, NF3), and ranging from fuel manufacturing to employees’ office activities. The data is presented in CO2 equivalent, other gases being converted based on their global warming potential (GWP).
EDF made the choice to consolidate its greenhouse gas emissions according to the "Financial Control" approach of the GHG Protocol. The Group perimeter is determined by the consolidation method applied to companies, in line with financial standards (IAS-IFRS). Full consolidation covers all companies that the Group controls. Companies that EDF group does not control are accounted for under the equity method.
However, criteria linked to the relevance of the subsidiaries' activities in terms of environmental impact are also taken into account. As such, the assessment may not cover some subsidiaries included in the financial reporting scope if their business activity or size is deemed insignificant with regard to environmental issues. Conversely, some companies deemed to have a significant impact may be included in the environmental scope but do not appear in the financial reporting scope.
The scope defined for the assessment of GHG emissions covers the following companies and their subsidiaries: EDF SA, EDF PEI, Dalkia, Edison, Enedis, Électricité de Strasbourg, EDF Energy Services (including EDF Trading NA), EDF Energy, Framatome, EDF Renewables, Norte Fluminense, MECO, Luminus, EDF China. The subsidiaries included under the financial consolidation approach but excluded from this assessment are not significant as their emissions represent less than 5% of the Group’s total environmental footprint.
The companies accounted for under the equity method and factored into the assessment (Scope 3, under investments) are: Shandong Zhonghua, Datang San Men Xia, Fuzhou, Sloe, Nam Theun, Sinop, Enercal, Électricité de Mayotte, Metropolitana, Elpedison and Ibiritermo. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from these companies are calculated pro rata based on its share of ownership. Other companies that are accounted for under the equity method but excluded from this assessment represent less than 5% of emissions in this category.
Breakdown of GHG protocol emissions for EDF group
Scope 1: Direct emissions
- produced by stationary combustion sources:
- CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from fossil-fired power plants;
- consumption of fossil fuels for heating in office buildings;
- produced by mobile combustion sources:
- fuel consumption by fleet vehicles and worksite equipment;
- fugitive emissions:
- fugitive emissions from hydro reservoirs;
- fugitive emissions of SF6 and coolant leaks.
Scope 2 : Indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity, heating or cooling consumed for own use
- electricity consumption for own use (office buildings and data centres);
- consumption of heating and cooling systems for own use.
Scope 3 : Indirect emissions from operations not included in Scopes 1 and 2
- purchases of goods and services;
- upstream operations of fuels used in power plants (nuclear and fossil-fired), for heating in office buildings and for fleet vehicles and equipment: extraction, refining, enrichment, transport;
- upstream operations and losses of electricity, heating and cooling systems consumed for own use;
- amortisation of emissions from the production of fixed assets (power plants, electricity networks, buildings, vehicles and equipment);
- generation of electricity purchased for resale to end customers;
- power transmission and distribution (upstream operations and losses);
- upstream activities and combustion of gas purchased for resale to end customers;
- other: waste management, employee work-related travel, leased assets, downstream transportation of by-products, production of consumables.
(1) The term “EDF” refers to EDF SA, the parent company. The terms “Group” or “EDF group” refer to EDF and its subsidiaries and shareholdings.
(2) See section on Group Perimeter.
(3) The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, more commonly known as the GHG Protocol, is the most internationally recognised GHG accounting method. Introduced in 1998 by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), it was developed in partnership with companies, NGOs and governments. It provides a set of resources, tools and data for carbon footprint calculation (http://www.ghgprotocol.org/).
2019 results for greenhouse gas emissions
The Group’s direct and indirect emissions for 2019 amount to 152.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Two sources of emissions account for more than 70% of the Group’s total environmental footprint: direct CO2 emissions due to electricity and heat generation (most of Scope 1) and indirect GHG emissions associated with the combustion of gas sold to end customers.
EDF group’s direct and indirect CO2 emissions in 2018 and 2019 (in Mt CO2 eq. )
For several years, EDF group has published data on direct CO2 emissions from heat and power generation plants, which represent over 97% of all Scope 1 emissions. These emissions and total Scope 1 emissions fell 7% between 2018 and 2019.
EDF Group - Scope 1 - Total net direct CO2 emissions due to electricity and heat generation (in Mt CO2 eq. )
| Direct CO2 emissions from power plants
| Total Scope 1 emissions
- This fall is the result of less use of fossil-fired plants in France, due to a mild winter. Also, the rise in the price of CO2 emission quotas along with low prices for coal and natural gas resulted in less market demand for coal generation and more use of gas generation..
- It is important to underline the high level of variability in annual emissions for EDF group, due to the very low proportion of fossil fired electricity generation in EDF’s total output. Annual variations in temperatures and rainfall, as well as the availability of the nuclear facilities, can have a significant impact on how much use is made of EDF’s fossil-fired plants and lead to considerable differences in annual emissions. However, the trend towards lower emissions has been entrenched since 2007, as shown in the following graph of direct CO2 emissions (output from heat and power generation plants).
Evolution of direct CO2 emissions from EDF group powerplants in absolute and specific values from 2006 to 2019
- Scope 2 emissions, which include electricity, heating and cooling purchased for EDF group’s own use, are very limited compared with the rest of the assessment. Due to the Group’s business activities as an electricity generator, most emissions connected to the Group’s own use are reported under Scope 1. Furthermore, following the GHG Protocol’s Scope 2 Guidance, the Group’s Scope 2 emissions are calculated based both on the average content of the network and on supplier content. Taking a conservative reporting approach, EDF decided to report Scope 2 emissions based on the average content of the network.
- Between 2018 and 2019, the Group’s Scope 2 emissions fell 38%. The reduction is because emissions relating to Dalkia’s heat purchases were transferred to Scope 3, as these purchases correspond to heat sold to end customers without undergoing transformation.
EDF group - Scope 2 - Indirect CO2 emissions (in Mt CO2 eq. )
|Indirect CO2 emissions
Emissions associated with the combustion of gas sold to end customers account for the largest share of indirect emissions:
- 60.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, representing 50% of the Group’s Scope 3 indirect emissions in 2019.
- On top of these emissions are those from upstream operations of gas sold, estimated at 11.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Together, these two sources of emissions total 72 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 60% of Group Scope 3 emissions.
- Indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity purchased for resale to end customers account for 22.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 19% of Group Scope 3 emissions.
- Scope 1 and 2 emissions from power plants of companies accounted for under the equity method are reported, based on the Group’s financial control approach, pro rata to its share ownership. These emissions are estimated at 10.0 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, i.e. about 8% of Group Scope 3 emissions (emissions from organisations reported as investments).
- Upstream emissions from fossil and nuclear fuels used at the Group’s power plants fell 4%, accounting for 5.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 5% of Group Scope 3 emissions.
- Other sources of emissions account for about 8% of the Group’s Scope 3 emissions.
Groupe EDF - Scope 3 - Indirect CO2 emissions (in Mt CO2 eq.)
|Émissions indirectes de CO2
- Between 2018 and 2019, the most significant emissions associated with gas sold to end customers rose 11% to 7.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This is due to an increase in sales, mainly in the United States.
- Indirect emissions associated with electricity purchased for resale to end customers saw a slight fall of 0.2 million tonnes (4%); this was due to changes in the average carbon content of the electricity in the country’s concerned.
- Lastly, there was a slight increase (1%) in emissions from companies accounted for under the equity method.
- EDF is pursuing its efforts to provide an ever more accurate and exhaustive analysis of its indirect emissions.
(1) Data audited for limited assurance by the Statutory Auditors, KPMG SA, appointed as an independent third party.
Details on methodology
The reporting period for the data taken into account is from 1 January of year Y to 31 December of year Y.
Unless otherwise indicated, the emission factors used are from the Base Carbone®, a database of emission factors administered by France's environment and energy management agency (Ademe), dating from January 2019. The GWP(1) data used is that set out in the fifth report of the IPCC(2).
Details on Scope 1
Direct emissions from fossil-fired power plants (CO2, CH4 et N2O) are measured or calculated based on fuel measurements or standard emission factors, and cover all electricity generation phases, including unit commis-sioning and shutdown phases.
- CO2 emissions also include emissions from processes, such as flue gas desulphurisation.
- CH4 and N2O emissions are then converted into tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
- Emissions due to fuel consumption by back-up power systems at nuclear power plants are calculated based on amounts of fuels purchased over the year from the Group's main supplier, as they are representative of real consumption.
- Emissions associated with filling hydro reservoirs with water: these CO2 and CH4 emissions are calculated using an IPCC method for reservoirs of more than 1 hectare. N2O emissions cannot be assessed using this method.
Details on Scope 2
In compliance with GHG Protocol Guidance, Scope 2 emissions are calculated based both on the average content of the network and on supplier content. Taking a conservative reporting approach, EDF decided to report Scope 2 emissions based on the average content of the network.
Electricity consumption is converted into emissions (excluding upstream operations and network losses), all uses combined, by applying the emission factor of the average mix recommended by Ademe for the first case, and the content of the company’s generation mix for the second calculation method.
These emissions also include generation of electricity consumed in office buildings (heat, cooling, processes, lighting, IT systems, various equipment, etc.) and in the two main data centres.
Emissions from electricity use in office buildings are calculated by taking the average electricity use per unit of surface area from a representative sample of occupied buildings. This average use is then applied to the total surface area of office buildings.
Details on Scope 3
Emissions from upstream activities in the nuclear fuel cycle include purchases of nuclear fuel (extraction, enrichment and MOX, transportation), calculated based on the amount of nuclear fuel load over the year. An emission factor from the Ecoinvent 2.2. database is applied for MOX fuel and extraction and enrichment activities.
(1) GWP: Global Warming Potential.
(2) IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.