What are Scope 3 Emissions?

Do you know your Scopes 1 to 3? We cover key information for business

Sophia Reeve
Written by:

Sophia Reeve

June 17, 2024
Graduate Sustainability Consultant

at Ecus

Greenhouse gas emissions can be categorised into 3 scopes.  

Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. 

Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the purchase and use of electricity, steam, heating and cooling.  

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in the upstream and downstream activities of an organisation. 

For example, Scope 3 includes purchased goods and services, business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, and the use and end of life treatment of sold products, as well as their transportation and distribution.  

Scope 3 emissions tend to account for the majority of a business’s carbon footprint, but they can also be the hardest to monitor and measure. 

So, it is crucial to address these emissions if you are looking to implement a carbon reduction plan or embark on achieving net zero. 

Managing your Scope 3 emissions not only cuts costs by identifying emission hotspots and improving procurement decisions, but also ensures compliance with evolving regulations.  

Your business may also be part of other businesses’ value chains, so acting on Scope 3 emissions can help meet the expectations of different stakeholders.