The City of Boulder follows The Climate Registry's Local Government Operations Protocol which provides detailed guidance on accounting for emissions associated with local government operations. Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are defined as the following under protocol guidelines:
- Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources within organizational boundaries that the local government owns or controls, such as fuel combustion and company owned vehicles.
- Scope 2: Refers only to indirect emissions associated with the combustion of purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heating, or cooling.
- Scope 3: This category of emissions includes all other indirect emissions not covered in Scope 2, such as emissions resulting from the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned by the local government, outsourced activities, waste disposal, etc.
GHG emissions associated with City of Boulder operations and facilities are measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e). This unit helps measure how much the city organization is contributing to climate change through emissions.