Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are divided into three different groups or ‘scopes’ by the most widely-used international accounting tool, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
For Scope 1, companies need to report on emissions relating to owned and controlled aspects of their business such as company vehicles and fuel consumption.
Scope 2 broadly covers indirect emissions from the purchase of energy that is necessary for a business to function.
Meanwhile, Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that lie outside their own organisation and occur upstream and downstream in the corporate value chain instead.
Scope 3 emissions may represent as much as 80% of a business’s total emissions, from the goods it purchases to the disposal of the products it sells. This means to truly target carbon net-zero, a business will need to assess the emissions through their entire value chain and identify where to focus activities.
In our experience, most businesses are finding it relatively straightforward to calculate their Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, but meeting the internationally accepted Scope 3 Standard may be a different matter altogether due to the complexity of the process.
That’s certainly the view of John Laban, EU Representative for the Open Compute Project. He predicted: “When businesses start reporting on Scope 3 GHG emissions all of hell will be let loose … Pandora’s box is opened.”
If you need further information on how to best meet the Scope 3 Standard, please get in touch with one of our consultants on 01225-867722.