Dr Torill Bigg CEng MIChemE discusses the issue of companies ‘pretending’ that scope 3 emissions are out of their control. Read the article below to see why scope 3 emissions are often misunderstood as simply being the scope 1 and 2 emissions from its suppliers.
Companies can’t pretend that scope 3 is out of their control, says Dr Torill Bigg, Chief Carbon Reduction Engineer at Tunley Engineering.
A company’s scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions are sometimes misunderstood as simply being the scope 1 and 2 emissions from its suppliers.
This would merely be the carbon equivalent of fuel and energy use and could be considered to represent a double counting of carbon emissions. Sometimes, this reasoning is used to justify not measuring or reporting an organisation’s scope 3 emissions.
It has also sometimes been stated that if all companies report their scopes 1 and 2, there would be no need to report the ‘other indirect emissions’ that make up scope 3. However, there are 15 different emission sources included in scope 3, as defined by the greenhouse gas protocol corporate reporting standard. They can be the largest part of an organisation’s carbon footprint by far, and not all of them can justly be laid at the foot of the supply chain.
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Beginning in 1765, the first industrial revolution transformed our economy by using coal to change the way goods were produced and manufactured. Since then, the second industrial revolution was driven by gas in 1870 before being followed by nuclear power in 1969. Today, we are driving through the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) as we see a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy such as solar and wind power. These revolutions show how quickly the manufacturing industry changes dependent on the source of power, with Industry 4.0 helping the manufacturing sector cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the use of renewable energy.
The UK is a global success story when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Committed to reaching net zero by 2050, we've surpassed targets for 2012, 2017 and - already - 2022. We are ahead of all EU countries and other leading economies. The carbon savings we've made so far have been the easy ones. To reach Net Zero, we need to start changing the way we live and work. We need to rethink our homes, our heating, our transportation and our food. We can’t reach net zero without these changes impacting on each and every one of us.
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