Understanding your emissions:
Scope 1

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Infographic highlighting Scope 1 emission sources, including energy from vehicles and properties

What are Scope 1 emissions?

Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse gas emissions that are controlled by a reporting organization. They include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

Examples of these emissions include:

  • Stationary sources
  • Heating sources, such as boilers, furnaces, ovens etc.
  • Electricity (if generated on-site)
  • Other facility operations, such as refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Fleet vehicle emissions from company owned and controlled vehicles - Cars, trucks, vans etc.
  • Construction equipment (if owned and controlled by the reporting organization)

What do you need to know to calculate Scope 1 emissions?

There are different ways to measure your Scope 1 emissions, and they are dependent on the source of the emissions, what sector you’re in, and the intent of your measurements.

For estimations or screenings, a simplified measurement is acceptable. Calculations for emissions from installation, operation, and disposal are provided by the GHG Protocol.

For detailed calculations of Scope 1 emissions, more information is needed to satisfy reporting requirements. Examples of the types of information necessary include:

  • Fuel carbon content
  • Fuel heat content
  • Appropriate emission factors
  • Equipment capacity
  • Vehicle type
  • Fuel use/type
  • Distance travelled
  • Quantity of fuel combusted

What are the benefits of accounting for scope 1 emissions?

The GHG Protocol recognizes several benefits of accounting for Scope 1 emissions. These include but are not limited to:

Hands protecting a healthy planet Earth

Reduced environmental impact

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Stronger compliance

A fast-moving stopwatch

Operational efficiency

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Improved recognition

How do you reduce scope 1 emissions?

Scope 1 emissions are the easiest to address because they are under full control of a reporting organization. As a result, once you identify these emissions, you can plan and implement changes to reduce them. Some of the ways to accomplish a reduction in Scope 1 emissions include:

  • Upgrade facilities and equipment to be more energy efficient and sustainable
  • Transition to renewable energy sources
  • If you own company vehicles, switch to electric vehicles
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure compliance with energy standards

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing Scope 1 emissions; however, once you identify and account for your emissions, you can determine what makes sense for your organization and its stakeholders.