For a modern business, one of the most important metrics to keep an eye on is how their work is affecting the environment. Not only is it a common request from stakeholders, but, generally, improving environmental performance can also provide benefits to the bottom line – and perhaps even provide a booster sales point for the marketing department. Quite simply; reducing emissions reduces cost. One of the most important factors to consider is the question of greenhouse gas emissions, which are usually categorised into scopes – 1, 2, and 3 tamiflu generic. These categories were proposed by a group called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and help to prevent “double-counting” of emissions in company reporting. The scope of an emission communicates how directly related to an organisation that emission is. More specifically:
Scope 1 Emissions, also known as “direct greenhouse gas emissions”, are defined as ‘emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the organisation’. These include fossil fuels combusted for heating and other industrial uses.
Scope 2 Emissions are also referred to as “energy indirect greenhouse gas emissions”. These are ‘emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, steam, or other sources of energy generated upstream from the organisation’. These could also include the emissions needed for chilled water, for example.
Scope 3 Emissions, known more generally as “other indirect greenhouse gas emissions”, include those emissions that are ‘a consequence of the operations of an organisation, but are not directly owned or controlled by the organisation’. Examples of scope 3 emissions include employee travel and commuting, as well as production of purchased goods and third-party distribution.
There are many benefits to monitoring these emissions for companies. Keeping track of scope 1 emissions can provide more information into exactly how much impact that direct operations are having on the environment. An outlier value within this category can identify where operations can be mitigated and improved in terms of their environmental impact, which can also help to reduce direct costs. Scope 2 emissions are a little harder to see as directly having an impact, but a reported high output of these emissions can be a motivator for programmes for reducing energy consumption in the workplace, giving another cost saving. However, a majority of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions lie outside their own operations, and so are classified as scope 3 emissions. By monitoring these, organisations can:
- Identify emission hotspots and resource risks in their wider operations;
- Engage suppliers who are lagging behind in sustainability and help them to implement initiatives;
- Improve the energy efficiency of their products;
- Engage with employees to motivate initiatives to reduce emissions from commuting and travel.
Within the UK, quoted companies are required to report their annual emissions in their directors’ report. By measuring and reporting emissions, companies can lay the groundwork for setting targets and creating carbon management initiatives for future reduction of emissions. It has been estimated that this mandatory reporting will help to reduce CO2 emissions by four million tonnes by 2021. However, even for smaller businesses there are clear benefits to calculating and analysing emissions, not just for the environment, but for the bottom line as well.