What are scopes in carbon accounting?

Greenhouse gas emissions are categorised as direct and indirect; and grouped into Scopes for accounting and reporting.

Direct Emissions – Scope 1

Emissions are categorised as ‘direct’ when they are generated from activities or sources within the reporting company’s organisational boundary and which the company owns or controls. Under the protocol these are called Scope 1 emissions and are accounted for as such. These largely include fuel burned in company owned assets and refrigerant use.

Indirect Emissions – Scope 2 and Scope 3

‘Indirect’ sources are those emissions related to the company’s activities, but that are emitted from sources owned or controlled by a third party company. These are categorised as either Scope 2 emissions for purchased electricity or as Scope 3 for other non-owned or controlled emissions e.g. rental cars, commercial airlines or paper use.

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