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

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

Here at Texas Direct Solar we measure and offset our Scope 1 carbon emissions for every installation we do. What does that mean exactly? Basically, we figure out what the carbon footprint is a given solar installation and then we by “credits” in a project that will drawdown an equivalent about of C02 from the atmosphere. Currently, we are using the Texas Coastal Exchange which helps conserve the Texas Gulf Coast. We felt as a Texas based company funding projects in our own backyard would be most meaningful. You can read more about the Texas Coastal Exchange here.

We sometimes get questions about what all this stuff means so in this post we thought it would be helpful to describe the differences between Scope 1,2, and 3 emissions.

Emission scopes were introduced by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) to define, quantify, and measure the emissions that specific companies are responsible for. They also aim to improve the transparency of gas emissions reporting.

Scope 1 Emissions

Scope 1 emissions are those released into the atmosphere as a direct result of specific activities. These emissions are also knowns as direct emissions and include those that occur from manufacturing processes, burning diesel fuel, and producing electricity by burning coal.

Scope 1 emissions come from sources that are controlled or owned by a company and need to be measured for purposes like carbon taxation.

Scope 2 Emissions

Scope 2 emissions include greenhouse gases that are released from the indirect consumption of energy and are often call indirect emissions from energy consumption.

For instance, using electricity that was produced by burning coal is considered a Scope 2 emission. In this example, the organization that burns the coal must report a scope 1 emission. However, the business that uses that electricity in their factory or plant to power machinery is generating a scope 2 emission.

In other words, these account for greenhouse gas emissions that occur from purchasing electricity.

Scope 3 Emissions

Scope 3 emissions are truly indirect in that their sources are not owned or controlled by any particular business. While they are related to the company’s activities, it typically only includes activities from vendors in their supply chain or other outsourced actions.

Examples include using traveling on a commercial airline or transporting purchased fuel. This type of emissions generally accounts for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in any industry.

While improving, the identification and quantification of scope 3 emissions can be difficult. Essentially, businesses can use primary data from activity within an organization’s value chain, or secondary data obtained from industry averages or other proxy data.

Measuring project emissions is only the beginning for us. Texas Direct Solar is in the early stages on our journey to being a totally carbon neutral company and look forward to make progress on that goal.

Want to learn more?

Give Texas Direct Solar a call: 832-905-8974