Do you know the relevance of emissions measurement and how to categorise emissions?

Emission Control


In 1954, Peter Drucker stated: “what gets measured, gets managed.”  The statement has never been more relevant than today.  What’s the relevance of this statement to decarbonisation and how are emissions categorised?  Do you know what scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are?

The energy sector is often pointed at when looking for culprits of climate change. Reducing your carbon emissions seems to mantra of today, but how do companies benchmark themselves and measure progress?

If a company really wants to become more sustainable, the first step it should take is trying to understand its current situation and start monitoring its carbon emissions.  You might be surprised by the results; the villains may not be as bad and the heroes may not be as good.

At the heart of the decarbonisation effort to combat climate change is the need to efficiently measure and track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As companies, public bodies, and consumers continue to align with the global sustainable development agenda, it has become essential to ensure that carbon and GHG reduction strategies are in place, which first requires an understanding of those emissions.

For many organisations, gaining an understanding of their GHG footprint is a precursor to being able to design and deliver effective climate solutions. Without this vital piece of information, planning and executing strategies to effectively reduce carbon emissions are likely to be wrought with problems. To combat this and further formulate a standardised approach to GHG reporting, emissions can be classified into three distinct ‘scopes’, as defined by the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, which covers both direct and indirect emissions related to a given organisation.

What are Scopes 1, 2 and 3?

The GHG Protocol have defined three scopes of emissions. The scopes correlate to who ‘owns’ those emissions and the level of control applicable to changing those emission levels at each stage.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions are a mandatory part of reporting for many organisations across the world and relate to systems that are within reasonable control of an entity, such as onsite and purchased energy.

Scope 3 emissions are centred on sources of emissions that are more external to a specific organisation, such as those across the supply chain. Scope 3 emissions remain mostly voluntary to report, however, in most cases the reduction of Scope 3 has the potential to have the largest impact.

For a detailed understanding of categorising emissions, see the following article:

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