Simple guide to Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions

In today’s business landscape, understanding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions isn’t just about going green, it’s about how your business operates, what emissions are under your control and what emissions information you need from your partners.

  • Scope 1 Emissions (Direct Emissions):
    • What are they? Emissions directly produced by your business, akin to the main ingredients in a recipe.
    • Examples: On-site fossil fuel combustion, company vehicles, on-site facilities.
    • Action Steps You can take: Opt for energy-efficient appliances, alternative fuel vehicles, and renewable energy sources. Reduce the A/C and heat settings, turn off equipment when not in use, etc.
  • Scope 2 Emissions (Indirect from Purchased Energy):
    • What are they? Indirect emissions from purchased energy, like the additional flavors in a dish.
    • Examples: Electricity for facilities, purchased heat, and steam.
    • Action Steps: Buy green energy, invest in energy-efficient lighting, and consider on-site renewable energy.
  • Scope 3 Emissions (Other Indirect Emissions):
    • What are they? Emissions from other business-related activities not directly controlled by you, the cherry on top. But actually, it’s not really the small cherry on top as Scope 3 are often the largest emissions factor in any small business, so maybe we should call it the crust or foundation of any emissions measurement.
    • Examples: Anything in your supply chain, the production of goods you purchase to deliver your product, business travel, advertising, and even the emissions caused by your customers using your product can be part of scope 3.
    • Significance: This is your opportunity select vendors and partners that also care about the environment. These emissions can be (and usually are) estimated, but if you engage your supply chain, you can help them reduce their carbon footprint and you can’t get to zero emissions without knowing where all the services you use come from..
  • Why Emission Scopes Matter:
    • Regulatory Compliance: Stay compliant and avoid fines.
    • Business Reputation: Showcase commitment to sustainability.
    • Cost Savings: Energy efficiency leads to savings.
  • Taking Action:
    • Measure: Understand your emissions across all scopes.
    • Set Reduction Targets: Define clear reduction goals.
    • Engage: Collaborate with suppliers and customers on sustainability.
    • Communicate: Be transparent about your efforts.
    • Offset: Consider carbon offset opportunities to balance out hard-to-eliminate emissions.
  • Conclusion: Embracing emission understanding isn’t just about compliance; it’s leadership. It’s about shaping a business that’s not only profitable but also responsible. By addressing emissions, you’re planting the seeds of sustainable entrepreneurship. Here’s to greener ventures and a brighter future!

Contact if you want to discuss how to evaluate your carbon footprint and engage your customers or audience to work with you and reduce it. We can help you educate your customers and generate brand lift with your efforts.