What are Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

What are emissions and why do we need to control them?

Burning fuels create greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, which drift up to the stratosphere and trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere. The more fossil fuel we burn the more heat is retained. The heat becomes an energy source that drives stronger and more extreme weather – climate change. Once produced, these emissions can take 300 to 1000 years to be removed from our atmosphere.[1]

What are Scope 1 emissions?

These are direct emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels on site that is owned and controlled by an organisation. For many businesses this includes burning fuel in vehicles that are owned or leased by the company as well as burning gas in the boiler. Close attention must be paid to regulating the installation and ongoing operation of various plant equipment to prevent fugitive emissions. This entails leakage of refrigerants from faulty connections in equipment such as refrigerators, chillers or heat pumps.

Reducing scope 1 emissions is a priority and everyone has a direct responsibility and capacity to improve factors involved.  Government regulations now state that it is mandatory for larger organisations to report their scope 1 emissions data as part of Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). These figures will be made public in the company’s annual report. Competitors will have access to this information, hence there is no better time to set a good example and reduce scope 1 emissions.

Common issues of Scope 1 emissions

  • Poor insulation
  • Air leakage or draught
  • Upgrade lighting, i.e. are you using energy efficient bulbs?
  • Optimise heating and cooling settings

Overcoming these issues should reduce your company’s energy bills and carbon footprint over time. Reducing energy consumption through becoming more energy efficient. This could include better management, managing your energy consumption using ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. This helps organisations understand where their energy is consumed and who has influence over careful management of it.

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