Explained through scopes 1, 2 and 3.
How to determine the impact of a business?

Every company makes an environmental impact and we at Productpine are no exception. However, you can divide this impact into various sections. To make these aspects more concrete, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol has defined 3 so-called 'scopes'. Each of these scopes indicates a specific environmental impact. Let's take a look at what these scopes mean and how you as a company can reduce your emissions for each scope.

Scope 1: in-house emissions

The first scope includes direct emissions or emissions arising from resources that are either owned or managed by the company. You can think of energy production in factories, such as burning natural gases and fuels, but also chemical production, metalworking, cement production and other production processes.

On the other hand, emissions from heating and cooling a workplace are also part of scope 1. Just like the vehicles that belong to a company. Think, for instance, of company cars, vans and trucks - driving to and from the warehouse. These are very common when working at a webshop, for example.

At Productpine, we do not manage a warehouse and work directly with our partners without detours. Thus, we do not need vans either. Therefore, our scope 1 emissions are very low. In doing so, we also encourage suppliers to make their logistics more sustainable, so that this whole process runs as responsibly as possible.

Scope 2: indirect emissions from purchased energy

This sounds lengthy, but a concrete example is the electricity your business runs on. You do not generate this electricity yourself - an energy company does this for you. You buy the electricity here and this is where the level of emissions is. These emissions come from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or oil. It is important to note that emissions from scope 2 can contribute significantly to a company's total emissions. Thus, a crucial point of focus to reduce emissions.

Indirectly generated electricity includes lighting your workplace and heating water. What you can do right away to reduce your scope 2 emissions is to partner up with a sustainable energy company. This will ensure investment in renewable energy sources and green energy will slowly becomes the standard.

Our Productpine headquarters is an economical, well-insulated workplace where we are energy-conscious with the whole team. That means we are rather putting on an extra layer when it is chilly and, on the contrary, opening a window when it is warm.

Scope 3: indirect emissions from indirect property

The third scope is very broad and can even be a bit vague. This is because it includes indirect emissions generated by activities that cannot be directly linked to the company. But they do affect the company's value chain. Think for instance of emissions resulting from production processes of suppliers, transport of goods and even the way a product is used by the end user. But also employee commuting, business trips and waste management fall under scope 3.

Article continues below image. Source: Unsplash.
Commuting to work

Scope 3 is again a nice challenge for many companies. There is still a lot to be achieved here. As a company, you can look at working with suppliers and impose stricter environmental standards here. This way, you can reduce emissions caused during the production and distribution of goods. Commuting can be reduced by having colleagues use public transport or bikes. You can also have more online meetings to reduce overall travel.

At Productpine, all our colleagues come to work by bike or public transport and we also regularly work from home. In our scope 3, however, our suppliers and consumers also play an important role. For the suppliers, this is mainly about their own way of working and their supply chain. For our consumers, on the other hand, it is more about product use after ordering and the life cycle the product goes through from then on.

It's interesting to keep these scopes in mind alongside your own business or just as a consumer when considering buying something. By understanding the emissions per scope, you can take concrete action to reduce them and thus get closer and closer to a more sustainable future for everyone.