Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are terms developed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Each category represents the degree that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are directly attributable to a person or an organization.
- Scope 1 are direct emissions from GHG sources owned or controlled by Macmillan, such as fuel to heat buildings or power fleets of cars.
- Scope 2 are indirect emissions from GHG sources that occur outside of our control but which we consume, such as purchased electricity that lights buildings and powers business operations.
- Scope 3 are CO2 emissions indirectly resulting from sources not owned or directly controlled by us but related to our activities such as paper creation, printing books, and air travel.
To help better understand how Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are determined, let’s use an example that is familiar to many of us—mowing a lawn.
Here’s how it works:
- If you mow your lawn with a gas-powered mower, the emissions would be considered Scope 1.
- If you mow your lawn with an electric mower plugged into an outdoor electrical socket that was run off of the electricity grid of your utility provider, these emissions would be considered Scope 2.
- If you hired someone to come to your home to mow your lawn with their equipment, the emissions would be considered Scope 3.
For Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, the categorization depends on the amount of control a person or an organization has over the emissions created. The purpose of the categorization is to bring clarity to the source of and immediate responsibility for the original emission. Ultimately, the best choice for mowing a lawn would be to use a push reel mower requiring no gas or electricity–just a strong back!