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Understanding The Decarbonisation Scopes - An Executive Summary of the Webinar

By Dr Andrew Eaton
01 February 2023

Product Marketing Manager

Meet our SSE Energy Solutions experts


Despite the urgency, Many organisations, from large corporations to SMEs are delaying decarbonisation because of fears over the budget required.

The following was taken from a recent webinar held as part of our Decarbonising Buildings series.

Executive Summary

Greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the four fluorinated gases) emission recording became a legal requirement for some organisations 10 years ago. These emissions are divided into three scopes. Reporting on Scopes 1 & 2 is mandatory in the UK. Scope 3 is, at present, voluntary

Scope 1

Direct emissions from organizational activities. So typically this would be a result of:

  • Burning fossil-fuels
  • Heating or producing power
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Fugitive gases. These can be releases of F-gases from refrigerant systems, or of methane from other systems.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions, specifically from purchased energy, so in the form of:

  • Power
  • Heat
  • Steam
  • Cooling

These emissions will be the generating organisation's Scope 1, but the consuming organisation's Scope 2

Scope 3

  • All other direct emissions, upstream or downstream, associated with the organisation

Scope 3 is often seen as a problem, but in fact, these are your supply chain and customers Scope 1 & 2.

If you encourage your supply chain to address their Scope 1 & 2 emissions, you are effectively addressing your own Scope 3.

In reducing these emissions on the journey to net zero, we propose a series of steps which any organization can follow to chart their Scope 1 and 2 emissions over time.

Scope 1 and 2 Strategy

Set Goals

Define the objectives of the journey


You need to know your energy consumption to a granualr level. ISO 52120 is an international Standard that allows you to classify the energy efficiency of your building and makes recommendations as to how it might be improved.


Use your BEMS to optimise building controls to lower your base load to reduce waste or you will over-invest in renewable energy


Invest in solar and/or wind power, if you have the space to do so. (Don’t neglect rooftops or car parks) Heat pumps are another source available. Buying, for example solar panels, involves capital expenditure, but extenal companies may pay for the installation and management of the panels in return for you purchasing the energy from them.

Renewable Sourcing

Renewable energy can be bought on the national grid system by buying REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) However, demand is currently outstripping supply. This will change as more renewable energy becomes avaialble.


This is the process whereby you pay another company to reduce or sequester carbon, for example by planting trees. This can be expensive and should only be considered as the option of last resort.


Cost is often seen as a barrier, but some Government funding is available

Fear Of getting it wrong Fear that other people are not interested oncerns over the time it will take

Cultuiure change is required to make it happen

If you would like to watch a video or read a full transcript of the webinar click below