What are scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions?
As businesses strive to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll often see the term ‘Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions’ being used. But what do these numbers actually mean?
In order to take action on reducing emissions, it’s important to understand and measure where they come from. This is done by looking at them within three different ‘scopes’.
Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from company-owned sources
Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the consumption of electricity, heat or steam
Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions that occur as a result of the activities of the company, but from sources that are not owned or controlled by the company
So, for example, Scope 1 emissions would be emissions from a company’s fleet of vehicles, while Scope 2 emissions would include emissions from the electricity used to power the company’s office.
Scope 3 emissions are often seen as the most important to focus on, as they offer the biggest opportunity for businesses to reduce their emissions. This is because they include emissions from indirect sources that the company has more control over, such as those from business travel or the supply chain.
Reducing Scope 3 emissions can be a challenge, but there are many ways in which companies can take action. For example, by working with suppliers to improve energy efficiency, or by encouraging employees to use low-carbon travel options.
What’s important is that companies continue to measure and report on their progress in reducing emissions across all three scopes. This will help to ensure that they are on track to meet their climate goals.