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Understanding Scope 3 Emissions and Their Importance

This article explores the concept of Scope 3 emissions, explaining what they are, why they matter, and how businesses can manage them effectively. It also highlights DOMI Earth's Power to Change initiative and its Minus-Plus Model, which helps companies identify and reduce Scope 3 emissions, and redirects resources to impactful projects. An example of this is the Energy Prosperity Project, where resources saved from reducing paper bills are used to assist energy-poor households.

What are the Scopes of Carbon Emissions?

infographic explaining the categorization of carbon emissions in scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3

Carbon emissions are categorized into three scopes to help organizations measure and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

Scope 1: 

Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, such as fuel combustion in company-owned vehicles or boilers.

Scope 2: 

Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company.

Scope 3: 

All other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, including both upstream and downstream activities.

What is Scope 3?

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Scope 3 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that occur in a company’s value chain. Unlike Scope 1 and Scope 2, Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions that arise from sources not owned or directly controlled by the company. These can include emissions from:

  • Purchased goods and services

  • Business travel

  • Employee commuting

  • Waste disposal

  • Transportation and distribution (upstream and downstream)

  • Use of sold products

  • End-of-life treatment of sold products

  • Leased assets, franchises, and investments

Why is Scope 3 Important?

a drawing of a lightbulb on  a yellow post-it clip on a cardboard
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Understanding and managing Scope 3 emissions is crucial for several reasons:

  • Comprehensive Carbon Footprint: Scope 3 emissions often constitute the largest portion of a company’s total GHG emissions. By addressing these, companies can significantly reduce their overall carbon footprint.

  • Supply Chain Efficiency: Identifying Scope 3 emissions can uncover inefficiencies and opportunities for cost savings in the supply chain, leading to more sustainable business practices.

  • Stakeholder Pressure: Investors, consumers, and regulatory bodies are increasingly demanding transparency and action on climate-related risks. Managing Scope 3 emissions demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability and can enhance its reputation.

  • Risk Management: Understanding Scope 3 emissions helps companies identify and mitigate risks associated with their supply chain, such as resource scarcity, regulatory changes, and market shifts toward sustainability.

  • Competitive Advantage: Companies that proactively manage their Scope 3 emissions can gain a competitive edge by responding to market demands for sustainable products and services.

How to Manage Scope 3 Emissions

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Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash

Managing Scope 3 emissions involves several steps:

  • Mapping the Value Chain: Identify all sources of Scope 3 emissions within the company’s value chain.

  • Data Collection: Gather accurate data from suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders involved in the value chain.

  • Emission Calculation: Use standardized methods and tools to calculate Scope 3 emissions.

  • Setting Targets: Set ambitious yet achievable targets for reducing Scope 3 emissions.

  • Engagement: Work with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders to implement emission reduction strategies.

  • Reporting: Transparently report Scope 3 emissions and progress towards reduction targets.

How Power to Change Can Help

infographic explaining the minus plus model of power to change

Power to Change utilizes the Minus Plus Model to assist companies in identifying, targeting, and redirecting Scope 3 emissions.

Minus Phase:

  • Identify Hidden Resources: We help companies uncover overlooked resources contributing to Scope 3 emissions, such as excessive use of paper, inefficient logistics, or high-emission procurement practices.

  • Reduce Emissions: By pinpointing these areas, companies can implement strategies to reduce unnecessary emissions, such as switching to digital invoicing, optimizing transportation routes, or sourcing more sustainable materials.

Plus Phase:

  • Redirect Resources: The savings and efficiencies gained from the Minus phase are redirected into impactful social and environmental projects. For example, resources saved from reducing paper usage can be invested in community programs or renewable energy projects.

  • Create Impact: This approach not only mitigates emissions but also fosters a positive societal impact, aligning with broader ESG goals.

Case Study: Energy Prosperity Project

the hand of a persona holding a led lightbulb

In the Energy Prosperity Project, we partnered with banks to reduce their reliance on paper bills. The resources saved were redirected to help low-income households replace old, energy-consuming lighting with efficient LED lights. This project not only reduced emissions but also addressed energy poverty, improving the quality of life for disadvantaged communities.

Since its inception, the Power to Change initiative has been dedicated to creating a triple-win scenario for businesses, society, and the environment through technology and innovative business models. To date, it has garnered support from over 1.5 million people and assisted 5,335 underprivileged families by installing energy-efficient LED lights, conducting electrical safety checks, and promoting energy-saving awareness. Environmentally, it has successfully reduced carbon emissions by 74,421 tons, saved 24,462,238 sheets of A4 paper, and decreased electricity consumption by 9,425,332 KWH. This initiative aligns with international Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has received widespread coverage from media outlets such as United Daily News, Economic Daily News, and Industrial and Commercial Times. It has also garnered support and participation from businesses like Taishin Bank, King's Town Bank, and DBS Bank, as well as from the government and academia. Through its innovative Minus Plus model, the initiative achieves both environmental and social benefits, creating economic value for businesses while providing valuable experiences and insights for society's sustainable development.

DOMI Earth's Role in Addressing Scope 3 Emissions


At DOMI Earth, we are committed to helping businesses understand and manage their Scope 3 emissions through our Power to Change initiative. By leveraging our expertise in sustainability consulting and training, we assist organizations in integrating ESG principles and driving impactful environmental actions.

Join us in our mission to create a sustainable future. Learn more about our initiatives and how we can help you manage your Scope 3 emissions effectively. Visit our website for more information and start your journey towards sustainability today.

Tackle your Scope 3 emissions!

Ready to tackle your Scope 3 emissions? Partner with DOMI Earth to develop a comprehensive strategy for reducing your carbon footprint. Visit our website, explore our services, and take the first step towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Let's make every action count—start today with DOMI Earth!

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