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A Deep Dive on Scope 1 Emissions
Emissions are classified into scopes for differentiating between direct and indirect emissions of a business and for more accurate measurement and reporting. Scope 1 emissions are the greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere that are a direct result of sources that are owned or controlled by the company in question. This consists of the direct emissions from facility-level activities like manufacturing processes, or the on-site production of electricity by burning coal.
Scope 1 Emissions Explained:
Scope 1 is typically within the capacity of most companies to easily track and control as long as they possess the source data needed to convert the direct combustion of gas into a value in tonnes of GHG. Unless your business sector falls into the upstream side of supply chains such as the production and extraction of raw materials, it is likely your scope 1 emissions are a relatively small portion of the total emissions for respective supply chains. This uneven distribution of emissions towards the initial stages of production and availability of carefully defined calculation methods is all the more reason for lower-emitting industries to bear full responsibility for direct emission reduction efforts as they will undoubtedly have an easier time doing so than other companies.
Because scope 1 emissions are the most easily tracked and clearly attributed to specific emitters, it is also the scope that voluntary sustainability reporting standards and frameworks will most often require businesses to disclose. This includes the GHG protocol, GRESB, SASB, GRI, CDP, and more.
Scope 1 direct emissions are divided into four categories for classification:
*Calculation methods may differ depending on the type of direct emission.
Most companies will need to focus on stationary and mobile emissions as their main source of scope 1 emissions. Stationary combustion is the burning of fossil fuels on-site for heating and cooling and is relatively easy to calculate with the right emission factors. Mobile combustion accounts for gasoline and diesel combustion through company-owned or controlled vehicles (not to be confused with employee commute and travel in vehicles not owned by the company, which falls into scope 3 emissions). Businesses must take into account distance traveled, type of vehicle, model year, etc., and note that the increasing use of electric EV vehicles means that some of the organization’s fleet may fall into the scope 2 emissions category.
Ultimately fugitive emissions and process emissions will be less material to the majority of businesses unless they rely heavily on refrigerants or are in the raw material/ production sector.
WatchWire provides full-service carbon accounting, tracking Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, renewable energy credits (RECs), global warming potential, and more. To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, you can visit our website, blog, or resource library, request a demo, or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest energy and sustainability insights, news, and resources.
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