The Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol defines greenhouse gas emissions according to 3 scopes
which have become common to many people’s understanding of carbon footprints:
- Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company;
- Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from generation of purchased electricity, steam or cooling consumed by the company, but not generated in-house (emissions occur at the power station or heat/cooling source);
- Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions that occur as “a consequence of the activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company” (upstream/downstream of business).
It is mandatory under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to include Scope 1 and 2 emissions in a site or company carbon footprint. Whilst reporting of the life cycle or Scope 3 emissions are becoming increasingly popular with increasing awareness that often the greatest scope for emissions reductions within a company lies outside their particular manufacturing facility. Both the value chain carbon footprint and product carbon footprint include all 3 scopes of emissions, but they have different focuses of assessment. The value chain has an organisation or company focus, whist the product carbon footprint has a product or activity focus.