What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

Climate change is a complex problem and we need accurate and comparable greenhouse gas emission data to tackle it. Companies usually use Scopes 1, 2 and 3 as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to report their direct and indirect GHG emissions.

The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company’s GHG emissions into three ‘scopes’. But what do the different scopes entail?

  • Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, such as fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces and vehicles.

  • Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, most commonly heat and electricity used in the company's operations.

  • Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

Scope 3 emissions from the value chain often represent the largest share of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions. On average, Scope 3 emissions represent 80-95 % of a company's total emissions related to the production of products and services.

Learn more about the GHG Protocol:

Many companies are still working to uncover their Scope 3 emissions due to the extensive and complex supply chains multinational companies have. Developing a full GHG emission inventory enables companies to understand their full climate impact and focus their efforts on the greatest GHG reduction opportunities. Tracking all Scope 3 emissions allows businesses to identify the largest emission “hot spots” in their value chains and recognize needs for cross-company collaboration.

Combient Pure supports companies in finding the bottlenecks for emission reduction in their value chains, as well as in co-creating multi-company solutions to decrease those value chain emissions. Read more about our approach

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