CO2 Emissions Dashboard

How do we calculate scope 3 emissions for the VU?


VU HRMAM and Strategy Team Sustainability


The ambition of the VU to be sustainable asks for reporting of our CO2-emissions based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. To steer the reduction of emission of greenhouse gasses, we can use CO2 as a KPI. But what is the best way to measure and present all this? What aspects do we include and what do we leave out? Can we estimate certain emissions and how do we get to a solid (zero) measurement?

Since 2003, the VU has been using the Environmental Barometer to determine and present scope 1 and 2 data annually. Scope 1 refers to direct CO2 emissions caused by own sources within the organisation. Scope 2 refers to indirect CO2 emissions caused by the generation of purchased energy. With this footprint, all energy consumption (fuel for vehicles, fuels for energy generation, electricity, heat supply, passenger transport, goods transport and refrigerants) is converted into a total carbon footprint. The categories from scope 3 are expected to determine a large part of the greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 3 comprises all indirect CO2 emissions from sources that are not owned by the organisation. For example, business air travel or the emission of CO2 as a result of what your employees eat during the day. A zero measurement is needed to determine our scope 3 emissions and to monitor our future targets even better.


How do we calculate scope 3 emissions for the VU?

  • What are the largest purchasing flows with the expected largest CO2 emissions at the VU and how do we calculate their actual corresponding emissions?
  • Which scope 3 emissions can we include and do we want to include (using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) in our dashboard?
  • How can we calculate the emission of i.a. the following aspects: commuting, business travel, transport, waste?
  • After determining the CO2 emission per category, how can we keep track of the emissions in the future?
  • What indicators for sustainability besides those mentioned in the GHG-protocol could be used? (e.g. ESG, ECI* or others)

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