When we think about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we think about the smokestacks of a factory or the black, smelly smoke that billows from tractor trailers. We forget that by typing on a keyboard or talking on the phone in a bright, air-conditioned room, we may be contributing to the generation of greenhouse gases simply because we are using electricity. By looking closely at our everyday activities, we discover that many of our routine actions are responsible for scope 1 GHG emissions.
What Are The 3 Types of GHG Emissions?
GHG emissions have been separated into 3 categories.
Scope 1 GHG emissions are the emissions generated from the company’s own buildings and vehicles.
Scope 2 GHG emissions are the emissions generated from electricity and resources a company purchases.
Scope 3 GHG emissions come from less obvious, indirect sources such as
- transmission and distribution losses from purchased electricity
- business travel
- employee commuting
- contracted solid waste disposal
- contracted wastewater treatment
- purchased goods
- end-of-life treatment of your products
Scope 1 GHG emissions are a great place to start when looking to reduce GHG emissions because we have the most control over what happens within our own company.
Infographic by: Walmart Sustainability Hub
10 Ideas to Reduce Scope 1 GHG Emissions
- When replacing old equipment, select an energy-efficient model.
- Only power on equipment and electronics when needed.
- Look for idle electronics that suck up power when they are supposed to be “off” and unplug them when not in use. (Plugging them into a smart power strip makes this much simpler.)
- Optimize lighting as well as heating and cooling use to run less when no one is in the building.
- Turn down the thermostat for your heating and cooling system by 1 degree in winter and up 1 degree in summer. This small change will not affect the comfort of the building’s occupants but it will reduce your energy usage.
- Set up a recycling plan for your business.
- Check the building for drafts and poor insulation.
- Reduce your paper usage. Less paper equals less printer and copier use.
- Optimize the routes and driving behavior of your company’s drivers.
- Implement an energy management program like JadeTrack to monitor your electricity usage in real-time. With real-time data you can understand how efficiently your building uses energy down to 15 minute intervals.
As with all sustainable and environmentally-friendly tactics, it helps to keep these three words top of mind – reduce, rethink, and replace. Reduce your usage of energy where possible. Rethink the way that you use materials and manufacture products. Replace equipment that does not support your sustainability goals with more efficient equipment, when necessary. Always look for a way to perform tasks more efficiently. All the small changes add up to a major reduction in scope 1 GHG emissions.
JadeTrack is a sustainability software platform that provides a summary of your energy, water, waste and emissions data. Our solution is intended to help busy energy and sustainability managers make sense of all their data. We provide robust data visualization and analysis tools to help our customers create impact – financially, socially and environmentally.