Skip to content
Thought Leadership // Knowledge Base // Environment

Understanding Scope 1, 2 And 3 Emissions For Sustainable Business Operations

Discover how understanding Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions can lead to sustainable business growth and how waste plays a key role.

RoadRunner | January 23, 2024

Discover the significance of Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions for sustainable businesses and learn how waste management, recycling management and technology can contribute to a greener future.

The basics of scope emissions

Scope emissions refer to the various categories of greenhouse gas emissions(GHG) that businesses should consider when evaluating their environmental impact. These emissions are categorized into three scopes: Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3.

Scope 1 emissions:

  • Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by a business
  • Considered the most easily measurable and controllable
  • Includes company-owned vehicles, onsite fuel combustion and industrial processes

Scope 2 emissions:

  • Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, heat or steam consumed by a business
  • Emissions are produced by external sources but are associated with a business’s activities
  • Examples include emissions from electricity consumption, district heating or purchased steam

Scope 3 emissions:

  • Indirect emissions that occur as a result of a business’s activities but are not owned or controlled by a business
  • Often the most challenging to measure and manage because this includes the entire value chain of a business
  • Includes suppliers, customers and how a product or service is being used
  • Examples include emissions from transportation, waste disposal, employee commuting and business travel

What type and size of container is best for your waste management needs? CLICK HERE to find out!

emissions reductions across scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3

Reducing emissions across Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 is crucial for businesses aiming to contribute to a greener future. 

Scope 1 emissions can be effectively managed through measures such as transitioning to fuel-efficient vehicles, optimizing fuel consumption, and adopting renewable energy sources. 

On the other hand, Scope 2 emissions can be addressed by increasing energy efficiency, adopting renewable energy sources, and engaging in power purchase agreements for clean energy. 

However, the most challenging emissions to measure and manage are Scope 3 emissions. To mitigate Scope 3 emissions, businesses can focus on sustainable procurement practices, supplier engagement and product life cycle assessments. 

Additionally, waste management and recycling, along with the use of technology, play a crucial role in reducing emissions across all scopes. Implementing effective waste management strategies, such as waste reduction, recycling and composting, can significantly minimize greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal. Moreover, leveraging technology to optimize energy consumption, monitor and track emissions and implement innovative solutions can further contribute to emissions reduction. 

Waste and recycling reporting are also paramount when it comes to assessing a company’s GHG emissions within Scope 3 emissions. Accurate measuring and reporting of waste and recycling provide a window into the overall environmental impact of upstream and downstream business activities. 

By embracing these practices and solutions, businesses can make a significant impact in reducing their overall emissions and contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.


Let's get the conversation started on how to drive recycling and cost savings for your business.