Understanding GHGs Scopes 1, 2, 3

As a certified B Corp media and impact consulting agency, we understand the importance of measuring carbon emissions in order to reduce our impact on the environment. The measurement of carbon emissions is divided into three categories or scopes, which are defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. In this blog post, we will explain what each scope is and provide examples to help businesses understand how they can measure and quantify their own carbon emissions.

Scope 1: Direct Emissions

Scope 1 emissions are the direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the reporting company. These emissions include those from fuel combustion, process emissions, and fugitive emissions. Some examples of Scope 1 emissions include:

  • Emissions from company-owned vehicles
  • Emissions from company-owned generators
  • Emissions from industrial processes such as chemical manufacturing

To measure Scope 1 emissions, companies can gather data on the amount of fuel or other resources used in their operations and calculate the resulting emissions using emission factors.

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions

Scope 2 emissions are the indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat, or steam. These emissions occur as a result of the production of electricity by the utility company providing the energy to the reporting company. Some examples of Scope 2 emissions include:

  • Emissions from purchased electricity
  • Emissions from purchased heat or steam

To measure Scope 2 emissions, companies can gather data on the amount of electricity, heat, or steam purchased and calculate the resulting emissions using emission factors provided by the relevant utility company.

Scope 3: Other Indirect Emissions

Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, including both upstream and downstream activities. These emissions can be difficult to measure as they occur outside of a company’s direct control. Some examples of Scope 3 emissions include:

  • Emissions from the production of purchased goods and services
  • Emissions from the transportation of goods and services
  • Emissions from the disposal of waste generated by the company

To measure Scope 3 emissions, companies can engage with suppliers and other stakeholders in their value chain to gather data on the emissions associated with their products or services. This can be done through surveys or other data collection methods.

Measuring and quantifying carbon emissions is an important step towards reducing a company’s impact on the environment. By understanding the different scopes of emissions and how to measure them, businesses can take action to reduce their carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable future. As a certified B Corp media and impact consulting agency, we are committed to helping businesses navigate this process and achieve their sustainability goals.