SECR- What are Scopes 1, 2 and 3?

SECR- What are Scopes 1, 2 and 3?

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requires companies to report on their energy usage and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. These are divided into three Scopes, known as Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. The division is to reflect the different sources from which these emissions are produced and how directly responsible the company is. But what exactly is in each Scope?

Scope 1

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from controlled or owned sources which includes those from combustion of fuel and operation of facility. Examples of Scope 1 emissions include emissions from combustion in owned or controlled boilers, furnaces, and vehicles.

Scope 2

Scope 2 emissions are defined as indirect emissions that are a consequence of your organisations activities, but which occur at sources you do not own or control. Examples of Scope 2 emissions include emissions released into the atmosphere associated with your consumption of purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling. Scope 2 emissions are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally: the generation of electricity and heat now accounts for at least a third of global greenhouse gas emissions[1].

Scope 3

Scope 3 emissions are those that are a consequence of your actions which occur at sources which you do not own or control and which are not classed as Scope 2 emissions. Examples of Scope 3 emissions include business travel by means not owned or controlled by your organisation, employee commuting, waste disposal which is not owned or controlled, and purchased materials.


The division of emissions between the three scopes is intended to help reflect the different responsibilities and degree of ‘ownership’ for the emissions produced by a company. Understanding what falls into each scope and accurately accounting for these can help companies take actions towards reducing their carbon footprint.


[1] GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. Source: Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Find out more about SECR

Article published 8/09/21

Elmhurst Energy Services Ltd. 16, St Johns Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4HB

© Elmhurst Energy Services Ltd 2022. All rights reserved. Elmhurst Energy Services Limited is registered in England, Company Number: 06087105