Scope 1 Scope 2 and Scope 3 Emissions Meaning & Definition | EcoOnline
Health & Safety Glossary

Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 Emissions


What are Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions? 

Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions exist to stop double-counting. Emissions are placed into each category based on their source and are then used to measure the carbon footprint of an organisation or individual. 

What are examples of Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions? 

  • Scope 1 - These are direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the organisation or individual. Examples include emissions from on-site combustion of fossil fuels (e.g. boilers and vehicles) and emissions from industrial processes.

  • Scope 2 – These emissions are caused indirectly from the generation of purchased electricity, heat, or steam that an organisation or individual consumes. These emissions are generated by power plants and other energy suppliers. They are considered indirect because they are not under the direct control of the organisation or individual. 

  • Scope 3 – These emissions are all other indirect emissions not included in Scope 2. Examples include emissions from the production of purchased goods and services, waste disposal, and employee commuting.  

Is water included in Scope 3 emissions?  

Water usage is not typically included in Scope 3 emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol which defines Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, only covers emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

For the purpose of greenhouse gas accounting, water usage is not considered a greenhouse gas and is therefore not included in the scopes of emissions.  

Is there an easy way to measure Scope 1, Scope 2, Scope 3 emissions? 

Understanding Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions is just the start. Organisations and individuals need to precisely record this information and leverage the data to reduce their emissions.

Whether you need to accurately measure your greenhouse gases or are wanting to get to grips with SEC GHG reporting requirements, EcoOnline has the software and sustainability experts to help you achieve your targets.  

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