According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the world's most widely used framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Scope 1 includes all emissions that originate from sources owned or directly controlled by a company.
Four categories of Scope 1 emissions
Scope 1 emissions cover direct GHG emissions from a company's premises and its vehicle fleet. They can be divided into four sub-categories:
Stationary combustion refers to emissions from fuels burned in fixed installations such as boilers or on-site thermal power plants.
Mobile combustion includes all vehicles owned or leased by a company that generate GHG emissions. Alternative fuels and electric vehicles are playing an increasingly important role in reducing Scope 1 emissions.
Fugitive emissions result from the unintentional release of greenhouse gases, such as refrigerants used in cooling and air conditioning equipment. Fugitive emissions often include greenhouse gases with very high global warming potentials (GWP) and should therefore be addressed by all companies.
Process emissions are released during industrial processes such as cement or chemical production.
Obligations to monitor and report Scope 1 emissions
Various laws and regulations require companies to monitor and regularly disclose their Scope 1 emissions. Notable examples include the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the Californian Climate Disclosure Rules, and reporting requirements for listed companies in many jurisdictions around the world. The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) have also developed voluntary reporting frameworks that are increasingly adopted by companies.
Reducing Scope 1 emissions
Scope 1 emissions play a central role in a company's climate mitigation efforts. A clear definition and allocation of emission sources helps to avoid double counting and ensures more targeted climate action within a company's direct sphere of influence.
More and more companies are also looking at the carbon footprint of their value chains (Scope 3) and are making efforts to reduce their suppliers' direct and indirect emissions (i.e. their Scope 1 and 2 emissions).