Estimating greenhouse gas emissions, or your “carbon footprint”, is an important foundational step of a company’s emissions reduction journey.
We all know the adage that if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So creating a greenhouse gas inventory or “carbon footprint” for your company is the foundation of a strong emissions reduction strategy.
New to Project Gigaton™ in 2023, companies are encouraged to share their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for their reporting year. This is one of the requirements to achieving the top Project Gigaton™ Recognition status of “Giga-Guru”. View the FAQ resource about this change.
When we talk about a company’s carbon footprint, we mean all greenhouse gas (or CO2e) emissions. These emissions are divided into three “scopes”. Scope 1 and 2 are emissions caused by business operations and the generation of purchased energy, and Scope 3 emissions are from the value chain. This video helps illustrate the three scopes of emissions in one minute.
- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by your company such as factories, office buildings, and company-owned or leased vehicles.
- Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy, primarily electricity.
- Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from upstream activities such as production of goods and services purchased by the company, as well as downstream activities such as consumer use and disposal of products sold by the company.
See the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard for additional details on GHG emissions accounting, guidance, and tools.
WRI GHG Protocol Corporate Standard
EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership