The greenhouse gases emitted by companies and organisations are partly responsible for climate change. In order to reduce or mitigate these emissions, a methodology must first be devised to measure them. Carbon emissions are usually classified in three categories, also known as scopes.
Scope 1 covers emissions that result directly from the products or services delivered by the company. It encompasses the use of vehicles or, for example, the use of oil or other fuels in a product’s manufacturing cycle.
Scope 2 covers emissions that result indirectly from the company’s activity. It encompasses all the energy used in the on-site production process (the electricity that powers the factories, the use of heating or cooling systems).
Scope 3 encompasses all other indirect emissions that are not linked to on-site production but occur either upstream or downstream of the company’s value chain: the extraction of raw materials, their transport to the factories, and the product’s life cycle, transport and recycling, amongst other things.
Scope 3 emissions account for the biggest proportion of most companies’ carbon footprint. However, it is not compulsory for these emissions to be factored into carbon reporting.
The following infographic show examples of a company’s carbon footprint, divided by scope and industrial sector.