Explainer: Guide to Scope 3 emissions


Scope 3 emissions include all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain, including both upstream and downstream emissions. This category is the broadest and can be the most significant portion of a company's carbon footprint.

Differences from Scope 1 and Scope 2

Scope 3 covers a wide range of indirect activities, from the production of purchased materials to the end use of sold products.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased energy.

Typical Sources of Scope 3 Emissions

Sources include business travel, procurement of goods and services, waste disposal, employee commuting, and the use and end-of-life treatment of sold products. Industries like retail, services, and manufacturing often have substantial Scope 3 emissions.

Measuring and Reporting Scope 3 Emissions

Quantifying Scope 3 emissions is complex due to the vast range of activities covered. Companies often use estimates and sector-specific models to calculate these emissions, reporting them according to standards like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Scope 3 Emissions' Role in Value Chain

Scope 3 emissions provide insight into a company's broader environmental impact, highlighting areas for improvement in sustainability beyond direct operations. Addressing Scope 3 emissions is crucial for achieving comprehensive climate goals and requires collaboration across the value chain.

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