What is the Difference Between Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions

When it comes to emissions, climate change and business, there’s a lot of terminology to get your head around. Here at Renewable Energy Hub, we like to educate our customers to ensure they are in the best position to take action and reduce their carbon footprint.

A common question we get asked is:

“What is the difference between Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?”

Emissions are broken down into these 3 scope categories by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) in order to better understand their source and help businesses decide on the best reduction strategy.

The GHG Protocol arose in 1998 as a joint initiative between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainability and Development (WBCSD). It is recognised as the international standard for corporate accounting and reporting of emissions.

Let’s take a look at Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in more detail:

Scope 1 Emissions – These emissions are direct emissions from the daily activities of a business or activities under the business’ direct control. Scope 1 emissions include:

  • Fuel combustion on site such as gas boilers
  • Fuel combustion from transport such as fleet vehicles
  • Processing of raw materials such as aluminum smelting and chemical processing
  • Production of electricity from fossil fuels such as coal.

Scope 2 Emissions – These emissions are indirect emissions released into the atmosphere from energy purchased and used by the business, such as electricity. These emissions are created during the production of the energy at a power facility and eventually used by the business.

Scope 3 Emissions – These emissions are all other indirect emissions from activities of the business that came from sources they do not own or control. These are usually the greatest share of a business’ carbon footprint, covering emissions associated with:

  • Commuting to and from work
  • Employee business travel
  • Procurement of stock/products
  • Transport and disposal of waste

Ready to get started on reducing your business’ carbon footprint?

Whether you’re at the start of your net-zero journey or you’ve already committed to reducing your footprint, our advisory experts will help you reach your targets.

With our background in carbon and clean energy trading, we are uniquely placed to ensure your carbon offsetting and clean energy contracts have the optimal commercial outcome. Contact our expert advisors today.

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