video Episode 5.01

Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions

Companies assessing their greenhouse gas emissions will need to analyze their Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions. This Climate Now mini provides a brief explanation of what that means.

Running Time: 2 mins

Date: 04.13.2022

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Hosted By:

James Lawler
Climate Now Host


James Lawler

Climate Now Host
James Lawler is the founder of Climate Now. James started Climate Now as a way to learn about climate change and our energy system. Climate Now’s mission is to distill and communicate the science of our changing climate, the technologies that could help us avoid a climate crisis, and the economic and policy pathways to achieve net zero emissions globally. James is also the founder of Osmosis Films, a creative studio.

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Video Episode 5.01 Transcript

What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions?

They are different categories of greenhouse gas emissions that make up a company’s total carbon footprint.

As an example, let’s imagine you are the owner of a steel mill. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions that occur in your facilities or from your business activities. So for a steel mill, this would include things like industrial emissions coming from your blast furnaces and vehicle emissions from your company’s car fleet.


Scope 2 emissions are indirect energy emissions. These are the greenhouse gasses produced to create the electricity, heating or cooling for your facilities.


And Scope 3 emissions are the emissions produced in your supply chain – both upstream and downstream from your specific business.  So for that steel mill, upstream sources of scope 3 emissions would include those produced during the mining and transportation of iron ore to your facility. But, it would also include things like the emissions produced during the manufacture of any equipment that you use in your facility.

Downstream scope 3 emissions would include things like 

  • emissions from the transportation of your product to the buyer, 
  • or emissions produced during end-of-life recycling or disposal of your product.

And that’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions!,

Check out our videos and podcasts at ClimateNow.com for in-depth analysis of the science, technology, economics and policy behind climate change and the energy transition. Thanks, and see you next time!


Steel Production. American Iron and Steel Institute. Published online (no date). Accessed March 24, 2022 from https://www.steel.org/steel-technology/steel-production/

EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership. U.S. Environmental Protections Agency. Published online (no date). Accessed March 24, 2022 from https://www.epa.gov/climateleadership 

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions: What you need to know. Deloitte. Published online (no date). Accessed March 24, 2022 from https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/focus/climate-change/zero-in-on-scope-1-2-and-3-emissions.html

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