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Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 Emissions

Some green house gas emissions are easier to calculate than others, as you remove the distance from "you" to the emission you want to measure in terms of supply chain it become more difficult to calculate. That is why industry guidance suggests splits emissions in to Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. It offers up some low hanging fruit in the forms of Scope 1 and Scope 2, without entering the morass that is Scope 3.

The below table has been copied from the DEFRA SECR Guide:

Scope 1 (Direct) GHG Emissions

These include emissions from activities owned or controlled by your organisation that release emissions into the atmosphere. They are direct emissions. Examples of Scope 1 emissions include emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, vehicles; emissions from chemical production in owned or controlled process equipment.

Scope 2 (Energy Indirect) Emissions

These include emissions released into the atmosphere associated with your consumption of purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling. These are indirect emissions that are a consequence of your organisation´┐Żs activities, but which occur at sources you do not own or control.

Scope 3 (Other Indirect) Emissions 

Emissions that are a consequence of your actions, which occur at sources which you do not own or control and which are not classed as Scope 2 emissions. Examples of Scope 3 emissions are business travel by means not owned or controlled by your organisation, waste disposal which is not owned or controlled, or purchased materials.


Scope 1 (Direct) GHG Emissions

These are perhaps the easiest emissions to calculate and can be worked out from you Gas bill, or in more exotic cases sales invoices (including quantities) for bio-mass fuel imports. If you are burning other wastes we can help to provide an emissions factor.

Scope 2 (Energy indirect) Emissions

These can be easy to calculate also. Typically you might use an emissions factor to convert you KWh total from electricity usage, thing might become more complicated where you import heat or electricity from a district heating scheme or similar, as their emissions factors made not be present or will need calculation.

Scope 3 (Other indirect) Emissions 

This $h!t just got real. Things will get complicated here, and for most this will start to include things such as materials and labor. As the complexity increases so does potential inaccuracy. It is likely that Scope 3 reporting will become easier over time as carbon reporting becomes more wide spread. In the future companies may well be able to offer a metric such as CO2e per m2 or kg of product that goes through your system which would then be passed up the reporting chain.

Again for scope 3 activities that have not been independently foot printed, then emissions factors can be used to estimate carbon footprint for example a company that uses corrugated roof sheeting might estimate foot print for Scope 3 emission based on emissions factors for steel and zinc, and apply an overage for manufacturing carbon, based on energy use over a year divided by production over the same period.