Scope 3 emissions
Scope 3 emissions represent the indirect greenhouse gas emissions that occur along an organization's value chain, encompassing activities outside of its direct control. The categories of scope 3 emissions, as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, include upstream and downstream emissions.
Upstream emissions refer to the emissions associated with the production and transportation of purchased goods and services, including raw materials extraction, manufacturing, and distribution. Downstream emissions encompass the emissions generated from the use and disposal of products or services.
Scope 3 emissions are often the most significant and challenging to quantify and manage, as they involve a wide range of activities and actors. Measuring and addressing scope 3 emissions is crucial for organizations aiming to comprehensively address their environmental impact.
By considering these indirect emissions, organizations can gain a more holistic understanding of their carbon footprint and identify opportunities for emissions reduction throughout their value chain.
What are the 15 types of scope 3 emissions?
Scope 3 emissions cover a wide range of indirect GHG emissions that occur along an organization's value chain. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol categorizes scope 3 emissions into 15 different categories, which are as follows:
Purchased Goods and Services
Emissions associated with the production and transportation of purchased goods and services, including raw materials extraction, manufacturing, and distribution.
Emissions from the production and transportation of capital goods, such as machinery, equipment, and infrastructure.
Fuel- and Energy-Related Activities
Emissions resulting from the extraction, production, and transportation of fuels and energy sources that are not included in scope 1 or scope 2 emissions.
Upstream Transportation and Distribution
Emissions from the transportation and distribution of products and materials from suppliers to the organization.
Waste Generated in Operations
Emissions from the disposal and treatment of waste generated by an organization's operations.
Emissions associated with employee travel for business purposes, including flights, rail travel, and rental cars.
Emissions from employees' travel to and from work.
Upstream Leased Assets
Emissions from the production, transportation, and disposal of leased assets used by the organization.
Downstream Transportation and Distribution
Emissions resulting from the transportation and distribution of products to customers.
Processing of Sold Products
Emissions associated with the processing and use of products sold by the organization.
Use of Sold Products
Emissions resulting from the use and consumption of products sold by the organization, such as emissions from the use of vehicles, appliances, and other consumer goods.
End-of-Life Treatment of Sold Products
Emissions from the disposal, recycling, and treatment of products at the end of their life cycle.
Downstream Leased Assets
Emissions from the production, transport, and disposal of leased assets used by customers or clients of the organization.
Emissions generated by franchisees under the organization's control or influence.
Emissions associated with the investments made by the organization, including indirect emissions from the activities of invested companies.