Assessment of EDF group greenhouse gas emissions
EDF(1) publishes an Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions covering the entire(2) EDF group and all the main emissions sources in the GHG Protocol(3). Every year, it makes progress in analysing its emissions to produce information that is as accurate and exhaustive as possible. EDF goes beyond the legal requirements in France by having more than 71% of its emissions - of which 99% come under Scope 1, 85% under Scope 2 and 62% under Scope 3 - verified by a third party.
The analysis focuses on Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the GHG Protocol, covering the seven 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, with other gases converted based on their global warming potential (GWP).
The Group perimeter is determined by the consolidation method applied to companies, in line with financial standards (IAS-IFRS(4)). EDF group uses the basis of full consolidation for the financial and non-financial data of its companies. The information presented here is from the 2018 Reference Document.
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 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: EDF SA, EDF PEI, Dalkia, Edison, Enedis, Électricité de Strasbourg, EDF Energy Services, EDF Energy, Framatome, EDF Renouvelables, Norte Fluminense, Meco, EDF Luminus, EDF Belgium and their subsidiaries. The subsidiaries included under the financial consolidation approach but excluded from this assessment 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, Alpiq, Nam Theun Enercal, Sanmenxiatt, Électricité de Mayotte and Chacao. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from these companies are calculated based on the Group's financial control approach prorata our share of ownership. Other companies accounted for under the equity method that are excluded from the assessment represent less than 5% of these emissions. Three companies - Chacao, Enercal and Électricité de Mayotte - are not included in the financial scope but, for the sake of completeness, are included in this assessment and accounted for under the equity method.
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 scope.
(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/).
(4) Accounting standards applied by the Group, see section 6 of the 2017 Reference Document.
2018 results for greenhouse gas emissions
The Group's direct and indirect emissions for 2018 total about 147 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Two sources of emissions account for more than 65% 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 2017(1) and 2018 (in Mt CO2 eq. )
For several years, EDF group has published data on direct CO2 emissions due to electricity and heat generation, which represent over 98% of all Scope 1 emissions. In 2018, emissions from electricity and heat generation and total Scope 1 emissions were down 30% over the 2017 figure.
Groupe EDF - Scope 1 - Total net direct CO2 emissions due to electricity and heat generation (en Mt CO2 eq. )
| Direct CO2 emissions
This significant reduction in emissions stems from the disposal of Polish power plants that emitted high levels of CO2, but is also due to a considerable drop in emissions from EDF SA's power generation operations. This decrease results from less use of fossil-fired plants in France, a high level of availability for nuclear power, and excellent rainfall. At other Group entities, direct emissions were relatively stable between 2017 and 2018.
It is necessary 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.
Change in EDF group’s direct CO2 emissions in absolute and speciﬁc values from 2006 to 2018
EDF group - Scope 2 - Indirect CO2 emissions (in Mt CO2 eq. )
|Indirect CO2 emissions
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 new 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 2017 and 2018, the Group's Scope 2 emissions were fairly stable (down 3%). This slight reduction stems from the fall in the electricity emission factor in France.
Groupe EDF - Scope 3 - Indirect CO2 emissions (in Mt CO2 eq.)
|Émissions indirectes de CO2
Emissions associated with the combustion of gas sold to end customers account for the largest share of indirect emissions: 54.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent(2), representing 49% of the Group's Scope 3 indirect emissions in 2018.
On top of these emissions are emissions from upstream operations of gas sold, estimated at 10.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Together, these two sources of emissions total 64.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 58% of indirect emissions.
Indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity purchased for resale to end customers account for 21.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 20% of the Group's indirect emissions.
Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from power plants of companies accounted for under the equity method(2) are reported based on the Group's financial control approach prorata to our share ownership.
These emissions are estimated at 9.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, i.e. about 9% of the Group's indirect emissions (emissions from organisations reported as Investments).
Upstream emissions from fossil and nuclear fuels consumed at the Group's power plants fell considerably (down 21%), accounting for 7.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 7% of Group emissions.
Other sources of emissions account for about 7% of the Group's indirect emissions.
Between 2017 and 2018, the most significant emissions associated with the combustion of gas sold to end customers were stable (up
0.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, a 0.6% increase). This was due to two factors that offset each other: sales increased by 8.3%, while the emission factor of gas combustion fell by 9.1%. The increase in sales came mainly from the United States.
Indirect emissions associated with electricity purchased for resale to end customers increased by 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, i.e. 14%.
Lastly, emissions from companies accounted for under the equity method increased slightly, by 5%.
EDF has therefore been able to present an exhaustive Scope 3 analysis, and is pursuing its efforts to provide an ever more accurate and exhaustive analysis of its indirect emissions.
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(3) data used is that set out in the fifth report of the IPCC(4).
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 equip-ment, 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 pur-chases 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) Scope 3 for 2017 was recalculated to include gas sales to a category of customer that was not taken into account at the time of the previous publication. These sales represent around 12 million tonnes ofCO2 equivalent. 2017 and 2018 are therefore presented here like for like.
(2) See Group perimeter.
(3) GWP: Global Warming Potential.
(4) IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.