Emissions Scopes

An organization’s greenhouse gas emissions can be divided into three categories, known as scopes, depending on their origin. Emissions scopes were introduced in the first Greenhouse Gas Protocol, published in 2001.

Scope 1
Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, including onsite power generation, heating, manufacturing processes and vehicle fleet fuel.
Examples: onsite heat generation for processes from the combustion of refinery byproducts.

Scope 2
Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, steam and district heating/cooling for processes and facilities.
Example: Electricity for product tank heating.

Scope 3
All other indirect emissions derived from a company’s value chain, products and services. Scope 3 emissions can account for more than 70% of their carbon footprint but are also the hardest to calculate. Collaborating with suppliers, reducing your organization’s carbon footprint through product design, purchasing decisions and involvement in end-of-life or circular economy measure examples of how to emissions can be reduced and calculated.
Example: extraction, transportation and refining crude oil, manufacture and transportation of additive chemicals, manufacture of packaging, distribution, end-user application, disposal.

A growing number of the world’s companies, from the largest corporate entities to small and medium-sized enterprises, calculate and report their scope 1 and 2 emissions. Compared with scope 3, calculating scope 1 and 2 emissions is relatively straightforward. An example would be the fuel used by fleet vehicles (scope 1) or purchased electricity consumption per year at a facility (scope 2).