Understanding Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions: The Key to a Greener Business

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Articles

As the UK continues its journey towards greater sustainability, businesses are increasingly focusing on their environmental impact, particularly their greenhouse gas emissions and how they can decrease them.

Understanding the different categories of emissions – Scope 1, 2 and 3 – is crucial for any company aiming to reduce its carbon footprint.

Here, we take a closer look at what each of these scopes mean and how commercial solar PV panels can help organisations to decarbonise their operations, enhance reputation, save money and drive innovation forward.


What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 Emissions?

Scope 1: Direct Emissions

Scope 1 emissions are the direct emissions that originate from sources either owned or controlled by a company. This includes emissions released during industrial processes and on-site manufacturing. For example, if a factory burns fossil fuels for energy, the resulting emissions fall under Scope 1. 

These are the emissions over which a business has the most immediate control and can directly address through operational changes and cleaner technologies.

Scope 2: Indirect Emissions

Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect emissions that result from the consumption of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling. 

Although these emissions occur at the power plant where the electricity is generated, they are attributed to the end user since they arise from the production of the energy consumed by the company. 

Much of the electricity purchased from the Grid is still generated using fossil fuels, contributing significantly to a company’s overall carbon footprint. 

By focusing on reducing Scope 2 emissions, businesses can make substantial strides in lowering their environmental impact.

Scope 3: Supply Chain Emissions

Scope 3 emissions encompass all other indirect emissions that occur throughout the entire lifecycle of a product or service, beyond a company’s direct operations. These include emissions from production, distribution, transportation, and disposal. 

Scope 3 is often the largest and most complex category of emissions to manage because it involves the entire supply chain and beyond – meaning it’s trickier to track and measure.

Reducing Scope 3 emissions requires a comprehensive approach involving suppliers, distributors, and even end-users.


scope emissions

How Commercial Solar Panels Can Help Reduce Your Emissions

At Shawton Energy, we understand the importance of creating a greener, more sustainable supply chain. One effective way to address your company’s emissions across all three scopes is through the adoption of solar energy.

Here’s how solar panels can play a pivotal role:


Reducing Scope 1 Emissions

By generating your own electricity on-site with solar panels, you can significantly cut down on direct emissions. 

On-site solar energy can replace or supplement the use of fossil fuels in your operations, leading to a direct reduction in Scope 1 emissions.


Reducing Scope 2 Emissions

Solar panels can help your business reduce its reliance on Grid electricity, much of which is generated from fossil fuels. 

By generating your own clean, renewable energy, you use less electricity from the grid and therefore lowering your Scope 2 emissions, contributing to a greener Grid and lessening your dependence on carbon-intensive energy sources. 

Reducing Scope 3 Emissions

Adopting solar energy can also have a positive impact on your Scope 3 emissions. 

By integrating solar power into your supply chain, you encourage your suppliers and partners to follow suit, creating a ripple effect of sustainability best practice.

For food and drink manufacturers, there is increasing pressure from the big retailers and supermarkets, who are looking to make their supply chains greener. They’re looking to collaborate with manufacturers and warehousing and logistics partners who are prioritising decarbonisation and who have future-proofed solutions in place. 

There are many manufacturing sites with a large factory footprint, but whose roofs or ground space go unused. These are areas which could be harnessed to house commercial solar solutions. 

Additionally, a commitment to renewable energy can enhance your brand’s reputation and improve stakeholder engagement – encouraging customers to choose environmentally responsible products and services, thus influencing the entire lifecycle of your offerings.

Find out more in our case study about the large-scale commercial rooftop solar energy installation we delivered at a distribution centre – operated on behalf of international food and drink group, Princes.


Partner with Shawton Energy for a Greener Future

We are committed to helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint through innovative and tailored commercial solar solutions. 

By installing rooftop or commercial ground solar panels, your company can take a significant step towards being more sustainable, reducing emissions across all scopes and paving the way for a cleaner, greener future.

If you’d like to find out more about the above and how solar energy can help your business. Get in touch by calling 01925 794 874 or email hello@shawtonenergy.co.uk, and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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