Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions are a categorization framework used to classify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with an organization's activities, products, or services. These categories help in understanding the sources of emissions and devising strategies to mitigate them effectively.
Scope 1 Emissions: Scope 1 emissions encompass direct GHG emissions that result from sources that are owned or controlled by the organization. These emissions are produced from activities such as burning fossil fuels on-site (e.g., company-owned vehicles, boilers, furnaces) and other processes like chemical reactions that occur within the organization's boundaries.
Scope 2 Emissions: Scope 2 emissions include indirect GHG emissions resulting from the generation of purchased electricity, heat, or steam consumed by the organization. These emissions occur outside of the organization's direct operational control but are associated with the energy it purchases and uses.
Scope 3 Emissions: Scope 3 emissions encompass all other indirect GHG emissions that occur in the value chain of the organization. These emissions are associated with activities and sources both upstream and downstream from the organization, including but not limited to:
• Upstream: Purchased goods and services, transportation of goods, extraction and production of purchased materials, and employee commuting.
• Downstream: Use and disposal of products sold by the organization, investments, and other activities related to the organization's products during their lifecycle.
Scope 3 emissions are often the largest and most challenging portion of an organization's carbon footprint, as they include emissions from a wide range of activities that the organization may have limited direct control over.
By identifying and measuring emissions across all three scopes, organizations can develop comprehensive strategies to reduce their overall carbon footprint, minimize climate impact, and contribute to sustainability goals.
Decarbonisation can apply to a nation, a region, a city, a district, an organisation, an infrastructure asset, a building or a product. We work with our clients to help them understand and minimise their impacts by preparing baselines and net zero strategies and targets, developing whole life cycle reduction pathways and supporting implementation. Find out more.