Chevron to tackle hard-to-abate Scope 3 emissions
US major Chevron said October 11 it was reaching beyond direct and other upstream and downstream emissions to include abatement targets from the use of its products.
Chevron established portfolio carbon intensity targets for Scope 1 emissions, those from direct operations, Scope 2 emissions, those from imported electricity and similar products, and now Scope 3 emissions, those derived from the use of its products.
The California-based company committed to cutting the emissions intensity of all three by 5% from 2018 levels by 2028.
Most companies have expressed commitments to Scope 1 and 2. Scope 3 emissions, Chevron explained, are not generated by the company itself, or by its suppliers, but from activities beyond its control, making abatement much more difficult.
“In our case, Scope 3 emissions result principally from customers’ use of the products we sell,” the company said.
As such, Scope 3 emissions are driven in large part by global demand, regulations and consumer behaviours. The latter may be a matter of product choices, so Chevron added that its “primary objective is to deliver higher returns, lower carbon, and superior shareholder value in any business environment.”
Scope 3 emissions account for most of the emissions associated with the activities of Chevron.
The company added that while most outlooks see fossil fuels playing a role in the future energy mix, that mix will increasingly rely on low-carbon sources such as natural gas and other clean alternatives, which may eventually lead to lower Scope 3 emissions.
The company’s clean energy division anticipates gains in output of cleaner fuels such as hydrogen and renewable natural gas, a byproduct of the decomposition of organic waste. Hydrogen in some cases is derived from water, which has no carbon in its chemical makeup.
Chevron has already made strides related to cleaner sources of energy, expanding on a joint venture with biomethane producer Brightmark.
A recent collaboration with Caterpillar, meanwhile, includes demonstration projects for hydrogen-fuelled railcars and associated infrastructure, work that Chevron said would begin immediately.