Defining Scopes 1,2,3

How do companies think about the emissions they are responsible for?

Companies all over the world measure and report their GHG footprint. The findings of which inform their sustainability actions and give an understanding of their progress to net zero.

To make sure the footprints are comparable and fair they need to follow the same process of measuring. To achieve this nearly all company footprints come from the GHG Protocol. The first thing to do to achieve this comparability is make sure companies have the same understanding of what type of emissions they are responsible for.

Below we show the different types of emissions companies should be measuring and understanding.

Scope 1
These are the things that companies directly control and can change. It includes things like gas boilers, fleet, and air conditioning units. The emissions enter the atmosphere in the direct vicinity of the buildings or vehicles that the company owns.

Factory drawing

Scope 2
Emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation. These emissions are indirect because they are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organisation.

wind turbine drawing

Scope 3
All Other Indirect Emissions from activities of the organisation, occurring from sources that they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of the carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste, and water.

cargo ship drawing