Natural gas buyers’ guide to reducing Scope 3 emissions 

If you work for a business that has to procure natural gas as part of your energy mix, but you also want to reduce your Scope 3 emissions as much as possible to align to net-zero, there are a range of options to consider.

Why would a business need natural gas as part of a net-zero transition plan? Because, there are industries where natural gas will continue to be needed as the world transitions to a 100% renewable future.

Natural gas will continue to be needed for industry and businesses for many years, so it make sense to try and ensure this transition is as clean as possible.

The problem is, not all natural gas has the same climate impact because of variation in how much methane leaks during production and transportation.  

Methane is an extremely harmful greenhouse gas. It is 80 times more powerful in climate terms than carbon over a 20-year time frame. The more methane that leaks during the production and transportation of natural gas to the buyer, the higher their Scope 3 emissions will be. 

There are four options available to businesses that wish to reduce their Scope 3 emissions from their natural gas supply:

  • Purchase carbon offsets, such as avoided deforestation credits
  • Purchase carbon capture and storage credits
  • Purchase biogas, such as “renewable natural gas” aka RNG  
  • Purchase low methane certified natural gas certificates

Out of these four available options, low methane certified natural gas is by far the most cost effective, as the above graphic shows.

To compare: RNG will typically cost approx. $200 per tonne of CO2e reduction. MiQ’s low methane certified natural gas will cost just $4.70 per tonne. This means that low methane certified natural gas certificates offer the most climate impact for your budget.

There has been significant growth in our not-for-profit MiQ over the past two years. Now 20% of natural gas produced in the U.S. is currently being verified by third party auditors against the MiQ Standard – our independent framework for assessing methane emissions from the production of natural gas. 

MiQ auditors grade gas using a scale of A to F, which denotes the level of methane intensity (or methane leakages across the supply chain), and this is recorded on MiQ certificates which are then stored on MiQ’s Digital Registry. A data-led grading system provides the transparency needed to understand and act on methane leaks. 

Natural gas buyers with ambitions to reduce emissions as much as possible should look to purchase Certified Gas that is graded at least A to C. Methane intensity at Grade A is less than 0.05%, Grade B is less than 0.10%, and Grade C is less than 0.20%. 

MiQ Certificates are stored and then can be retired on the MiQ Digital Registry so that end-user natural gas buyers can credibly prove their emissions reductions in their climate reporting.  

Certified gas can be transacted bilaterally, through a broker, or on centralised trading platforms such as the CG Hub. The CG Hub drives greater trading and emissions transparency.

Certified gas is the most credible and cost effective way for natural gas buyers to reduce scope 3.  

If you’d like to find out more about low methane certified natural gas, contact us or check out our FAQs.

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