Counting and comparing CO2 emissions can be a tricky thing to do. Luckily there are reporting standards such as the Greenhouse gas protocol. They have three scopes:
- Direct emissions from the company
- Indirect emissions from electricity, heat or steam
- Value chain emissions. This is usually the the biggest source of emissions.
If we want to compare companies with each other we have to check what they include when they say they’re climate neutral or net-zero.
Sometimes they only speak about scope 1 and 2. It’s easy for a company to stop there and ignore the large and difficult scope 3. Those indirect emissions happens outside of the company, so technically it’s not “their company”, but the emissions are caused because of the products and services the company provide.
That said, we shouldn’t be too hard on scope 3. In some cases those emissions can be too big to handle for a company, literally so expensive to remove that it would bankrupt the company. At the same time the company may be needed for the society to function. The best approach here is not to let the company die, but instead push for reductions by all companies through the value chain and set a realistic time frame.
Naturally we as consumers should choose a better product or company if those are available. One that already has become net zero or climate positive.
Albin Social’s objective is to become CO2 negative as soon as possible for all three scopes.