What’s Scope 1,2,3?

What’s Scope 1,2,3?

In order to half global emissions by 2030 and achieve “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050, all public and private institutions need to include net-zero targets in their strategy and decision-making processes. 

Organisations need to measure and report their direct and indirect emission sources transparently so that they can take action. 

The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, which first appeared in the GHG Protocol in 2001, is used as a global benchmark by businesses, NGOs, and governments today.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol has categorised carbon emissions under 3 scopes to provide clarity. 

Scope 1: Direct Emissions  

Scope 1  refers to emissions caused from activities owned or controlled by the organisation that release emissions directly into the atmosphere.  By burning resources such as oil and coal, the gases released to the atmosphere as a result of these (process emissions) are included in this scope. The emissions caused by the vehicles owned by the organisations are also included in this scope. 

Scope 1 is the most restricted framework that can be used in carbon calculations. 

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions (owned)  

Scope 2 includes indirect emissions related to energy consumption. Emissions arising from the consumption or purchased energy by institutions and organisations while carrying out their activities are in this group.  

For example, when a company consumes electricity, it does not directly release greenhouse gases. On the other hand, even if the production of this electricity does not occur within the organisation, it causes greenhouse gas emissions. 

It includes all greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity, heat, steam, etc. purchased by an organisation. It refers to the energy consumed by the end-user. For this reason, they are called owned indirect emissions. 

Scope 3: Other Indirect Emissions (not owned)   

Scope 3 emissions are not directly related to the production phase of the product but are linked to other phases of the product’s life cycle. It covers stages such as transportation, use, end of life. 

For example, raw materials are needed to manufacture a product. Extracting, converting, and transporting these raw materials to the manufacturing plant release greenhouse gases. Likewise, the end of life or recycling of a product also causes emissions. These indirect emissions associated with the life cycle of the product are embodied in scope 3. 

Scope 3 emissions are defined by using emissions produced by both “pre-production activities” and “post-production activities” throughout the lifecycle of goods and services produced by a company. 

Upstream activities:   

-Travel and transportation: Emissions due to the travel and transportation of employees  

-Waste: emissions resulting from waste generated in operational processes 

-Goods and services purchased: Emissions generated during the production of goods and services purchased by the company 

-Capital goods: Buildings, vehicles, machinery emissions from an organisation’s production 

-Transport and Distribution: Covers emissions on the way from supplier to customer. 

Downstream activities:   

-Products in use: Products release emissions during their use. 

-End-of-life products: Emissions from recycling or disposal processes. 

-Franchise: It covers emissions within the scope of franchise activities. 


-Leased assets 

Why Carbon Scopes Matter? 

While organisation have more control over their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and as such they are easier to measure, it is important that they focus on scope 3 as well. This is because these often make up the majority of emissions and on average more than 70%.  

Utilising technology and software platforms can greatly increase efficiencies in data gathering, reporting and analysis 

With our Carbon Intelligence Platform, we make emission measurements easy for institutions and organisations. With the help of our platform: 

  • You can make your calculations automatically on the Platform, converting raw data to CO2e. 
  • You can access the measurement data separately for each of the three scopes from a single screen via the Platform. 
  • You can take location-based carbon management actions by tracking your emission data on a location basis. 
  • You can analyse at what stages of your supply chain and where you have high energy uses and emission outputs. 
  • For different data types, you can give targets for consumption, decrease-increase, or maintain the current rate. 
  • You can simplify the tracking and reporting processes for ISO 14001, ISO14064, CDP, GRI by digitising them. 


Irem Altiparmak 

Marketing Assistant at Faradai