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GHG Scopes 101:

Scope 3: All Indirect Emissions that Occur in the Value Chain


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Explaining Scope 3 Emissions

Scope 3 Emissions are from sources that the company does not own or control, covering areas associated with business travel, procurement, waste and water. They are those not included in scope 1 or scope 2 and extend the reach to account for GHG emissions through the entire value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

  • Upstream activities

    or cradle-to-gate emissions include all those that occur in the life cycle of a material/product up to the point of sale by the producer.

  • Downstream activities

    are those emissions produced in the life cycle of a product after its sale by the producer, including distribution and storage, product use and end-of-life.

Scope 3 emissions regularly contribute the greatest share of a company’s carbon footprint but the measurement and reporting of them is seen as crucial to the sustained development of effective carbon reduction policies and helps companies identify GHG reduction opportunities, track performance, and engage suppliers at a corporate level.

Examples of Scope 3 Emissions

  • Purchased goods and services
  • Business travel
  • Employee commuting
  • Waste disposal
  • Use of sold products
  • Transportation and distribution (up- and downstream)
  • Investments
  • Leased assets and franchises

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