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Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions: A Comprehensive Guide And Why Every Business Should Measure Them

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions are concepts that every business must familiarise themselves with - in today’s world it is more important than ever for businesses to understand the impact their decisions have on the environment. The concept of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions can be a bit confusing for those who are new to this topic. But understanding the implications and taking action to reduce your emissions is an essential part of being a responsible business owner. In this blog post, we’ll dive into what all the three scopes refer to and why it is important for businesses to measure them in order to reduce their emissions. We’ll also provide examples of each scope and tips on how a business can report on their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.


What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions?


Scope 1 emissions refer to direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sources owned or controlled by an organisation. Examples include vehicle exhaust from company cars as well as natural gas used in boilers or furnaces.



Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect emissions from sources that are not owned or controlled by the organisation (e.g., electricity purchased from utility companies). Examples of scope 2 emissions include electricity used in buildings or offices as well as energy used in industrial processes.

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur outside the organisation's control (e.g., supply chain activities). Examples of scope 3 emissions include air travel associated with business trips, waste sent to landfill and employee commuting.

Why Measure Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions?


Every business should be measuring their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions because it is essential for understanding how much greenhouse gases your company is producing and where those gases come from. This information is key for developing strategies to reduce those emissions over time so your business can become more environmentally friendly. Additionally, measuring your scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions can help inform decision-making around how best to improve efficiency when it comes to energy use in your operations.



Ways to Reduce Scope 1, 2 & 3 Emissions


There are many simple steps businesses can take to reduce their scope 1,2 and 3 emission levels including switching energy providers or investing in renewable energy sources; optimising operations such as using efficient lighting systems or efficient HVAC systems; switching transportation methods such as using low-emission vehicles; reducing air travel for your employees; offsetting remaining carbon footprints through carbon offsetting initiatives; reducing waste sent to landfill; engaging employees in sustainability initiatives etc.. Additionally businesses can look into holistic approaches such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification which helps identify environmental impacts and develop strategies for reducing them further over time.


How To Reduce Waste Sent To Landfill For Your Business?


Reducing waste is no longer just a matter of environmental sustainability. Many businesses are recognizing the importance of making waste reduction part of their waste disposal policy to reduce the impact waste has on their scope 3 emissions. Simple steps can make a big difference in waste sent to landfills - like replacing any single-use products such as single-use water bottles, coffee cups, takeaway containers and even single-use trash bags with reusable items, recycling paper waste or composting food waste, and investing in waste management solutions that divert waste away from landfills. While these tactics may seem small in the grand scheme of things, initiatives like this have a cumulative effect when it comes to reducing the overall waste created by a business and its operations.


How Can A Business Report On Their Scope 1, 2 And 3 Emissions?


When reporting on their Scope 1,2 and 3 emission levels a business needs accurate data collection which involves collecting data from multiple sources including production equipment readings/meters/sensors/etc.; utility bills; transport records etc. Once accurate data has been collected it must then be verified against internal records before being entered into an appropriate reporting platform that will allow the user(s) access in order to monitor progress over time towards reduction targets for each individual element of the scopes. The platform should also allow authorised users access across multiple locations if necessary so that any issues with inaccurate data entry can be quickly identified and effectively addressed before submitting final reports at regular intervals.. The platform should also make detailed reporting easy with simple visualisations such as charts & graphs allowing ready comparison between different locations/months etc.


In order for businesses today to operate responsibly they must understand their carbon footprint—including both direct and indirect GHGs through scopes 1-3—and take steps towards reducing these impacts when possible in order to protect our planet’s future health. Measuring your scopes helps ensure compliance with government regulations while also allowing businesses owners insight into where improvements can be made when it comes to reducing their overall environmental impact going forward—which is ultimately beneficial for everyone involved! By following best practices outlined here any business can become more sustainable while still remaining profitable in today's competitive markets. Learn more how TOMbag can help reduce your organisations Scope 3 Emissions here.

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