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  • Writer's pictureDr. Edith Öller

Back to basics - scope 1, 2, 3 emissions

Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions - well, what's that? Anyone who begins to deal with the topic of sustainability and / or climate protection in the company will definitely come across these terms. Here is a brief explanation of what it is about and how to define the "scopes".

After discussions about the calculation and definition of greenhouse gas emissions in the 1990s, a standard for greenhouse gas emissions was set with the GHG Protocol (Greenhouse Gas Protocol: on ​​the initiative of the WRI (Word Resources Institute: Other standards and guidelines, such as the ISO 14064 environmental standard, are based on this.

The GHG Protocol differentiates the source of corporate emissions into 3 areas or "scopes":

  • Scope 1 includes direct emissions in-house, i.e. through incineration in our own plants. This essentially affects direct production (e.g. blast furnaces, own energy systems, etc.) and the vehicle fleet.

  • Scope 2 includes the indirect emissions from purchased energy. This is essentially electricity and the energy used for heating and cooling.

  • Scope 3 includes all other, upstream and downstream indirect emissions. Scope 3 is therefore usually the largest part of the total emissions, but it is also the most difficult to determine and influence. Here, the emissions range from the production of primary materials to the transport of materials along the supply chain, including storage, etc., to downstream emissions, such as the transport of the finished products, the entire distribution chain to the end customer, and also the use and finally disposal of the product.


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