IT Sustainability Think Tank: Cutting enterprise carbon emissions amid the energy crisis
Author: Shane Herath
According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, dividing emissions into three groups can help measure progress towards the reductions needed to keep global temperature rises well below 1.5°C. Even with the government’s pledge to decarbonise electricity generation by 2035, the country will remain heavily dependent on gas. The need to rethink our energy system and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels has never been greater. Scope 1 emissions, also known as direct emissions, are those an organisation produces while using assets that it owns or maintains, such as equipment used in manufacturing or production, use of vehicles, heating of buildings, and use of electricity for computers. Scope 2 includes electricity purchased by the enterprise, and carbon reduction there comes with a heavy reliance on the grid becoming greener. Since these are the emissions for which companies have the most control, the majority of companies have focused on Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Very little attention has been paid to the emissions resulting from the consumption of goods and services, which falls under Scope 3, and their impact on sustainable development goals (SDGs). Although Scope 3 emissions are seldom recorded, they can account for many times the impact of Scope 1 and 2 emissions – as per Deloitte accounting for more than 70% of an organisation’s carbon footprint – depending on the nature of the organisation.