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Blog: 3 Types of Emissions

What are Scope 1, 2 & 3 carbon emissions?

Many companies, are seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. When it comes to reporting progress, you’ll often see the terminology ‘Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions’ used, but what do these numbers mean? 

On the road to net zero, one of the main ways that companies’ greenhouse gas emissions are measured and assessed is to look at them within three different ‘scopes’.

"Developing a full (greenhouse gas) emissions inventory...enables companies to understand their full value chain emissions and focus their efforts on the greatest reduction opportunities"

Why are there three scopes of emissions?

If we are going to reduce our emissions, we first need to understand and measure where they’re sourced.

The three scopes are a way of categorising the different kinds of emissions a company creates in its own operations and in its wider ‘value chain’ (its suppliers and customers).

As the Greenhouse Gas Protocol itself puts it: “Developing a full [greenhouse gas] emissions inventory – incorporating Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions – enables companies to understand their full value chain emissions and focus their efforts on the greatest reduction opportunities”.

How easy is it to reduce our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

There are lots of considerations beyond emissions alone – such as cost and practicality – but, to an extent, we can choose whether our fleet is low or zero emissions, we can determine how our buildings are warmed and a manufacturer can look at ways to reduce the carbon cost of its production processes.

However, a soft drinks maker can’t control how we will dispose of its plastic bottles, nor can an appliance manufacturer decree whether we use the most or least eco-friendly settings on our laundry machines.

It’s somewhat easier to quantify emissions for scopes 1 and 2. For energy use, for example, companies can source the data needed to convert direct purchases of gas and electricity into a value for the associated greenhouse gases.

However, for many organisations, scope 3 emissions account for by far the highest proportion of total emissions. Unfortunately these are also usually the hardest to reduce. Some of the actions a company can take to reduce these is to work with existing suppliers and their customers on solutions to reduce their emissions.

How can Omni reduce your emissions?
With the Omni Box, our clients accelerate their drive to Net Zero by optimising their buildings efficiency, reducing energy consumption and as a result carbon emissions.

At one of our clients sites, the Omni System over 3 months reduced energy usage by 15,077Kwh per weekday and 4,812Kwh on a weekend, (24%).


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