Scope 1, 2 & 3 Emissions

What are they and how do they impact me and my business?

When it comes to carbon emissions and carbon reporting there is a lot of terminology and complexity to get your head around.  If you can begin to understand the climate change language and net zero acronyms, you will be able to help your business perceive this as an opportunity not to just help the environment but to drive savings and influence company branding and perception across all business stakeholders.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are broken down into three categories: scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol created these scopes as part of its Corporate Accounting Reporting Standard to provide a global framework for measuring and managing GHG emissions for all types of organisations and industries.

Emissions are gases and other particles that are released into the atmosphere because of human activities such as burning fuels. Generally, these emissions are most likely to come from cars, power generation, and industrial processes.

Scope 1 Emissions

Scope 1 emissions are “direct emissions” from sources that are owned or controlled by the company. This can include emissions from:

  • Use of natural gas
  • Transport from the combustion of fuel in fleet vehicles (owned by the company)
  • The combustion of fuels in stationary sources like boilers, furnaces and incinerators
  • Production of electricity from burning coal.
  • Manufacturing or processing of materials and chemicals like cement manufacturing, aluminium smelting and petrochemical processing

Scope 2 Emissions

Scope 2 emissions are the emissions released into the atmosphere from the use of purchased energy. These are called “indirect emissions” because the actual emissions are generated at another facility such as a power station.

Scope 3 Emissions

Scope 3 includes all indirect emissions that occur in an organisation’s value chain – so activities that they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of an organisation’s carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with the following 15 categories. There are also additional categories you can measure, such as home working emissions.

Please contact to speak to our Sustainability and Net Zero experts to understand the carbon reporting requirements and opportunities this presents to you and your business.