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Learn more about operations

In the context of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, "operations" encompass a wide range of activities and facilities within an organisation that contribute to GHG emissions.

These operations can include both fixed facilities and mobile assets, such as fleets. Here's a comprehensive explanation:

Operations within the GHG Protocol framework

Operations, as defined by the GHG Protocol, refer to specific locations, activities, or processes within an organisation that directly or indirectly result in GHG emissions. These operations serve as the focal points for assessing, measuring, and managing an organisation's emissions inventory.

  1. Facilities operations

    Fixed facilities, such as manufacturing plants, office buildings, warehouses, data centres, and other physical locations where an organisation conducts its activities, are an integral part of operations. These facilities can be primary sources of GHG emissions, often linked to activities like electricity consumption, industrial processes, and on-site fuel combustion.

  2. Fleet operations

    Organisations often manage fleets of vehicles, including cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships, or other modes of transportation. These fleet operations significantly contribute to an organisation's emissions inventory. Emissions from fleet operations can be both direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 3), depending on factors such as vehicle ownership and the extent of control over the emissions.

Scope 1 emissions and operations

Scope 1 emissions represent the direct GHG emissions originating from an organisation's own activities or operations. For facilities, this typically includes sources like on-site fuel combustion (e.g., natural gas for heating) and industrial processes. In the case of fleet operations, scope 1 emissions arise when an organisation owns and operates its vehicles, resulting in emissions such as those from engine exhaust.

Scope 2 emissions and operations

Scope 2 emissions are associated with the generation of electricity, heat, or steam acquired by an organisation at a specific operation or location. These emissions result from the energy consumed by the organisation but generated off-site, often by utilities or other providers. Facilities operations may contribute to scope 2 emissions based on their energy consumption patterns.

Scope 3 upstream emissions

These are a specific subset of GHG emissions that organisations consider when assessing their carbon footprint. These emissions are associated with activities and process from an organisations operations within scope 1 & 2 emissions but occur outside their direct control. They encompass emissions generated during the production, extraction, and transportation of raw materials and energy sources used to create the products or services an organisation offers.


By encompassing both facilities and fleets within operations, the GHG Protocol provides organisations with a holistic framework to evaluate their GHG emissions comprehensively. This approach enables organisations to make informed decisions, set emissions reduction targets, and contribute to a more sustainable future, whether within their fixed facilities or through their mobile assets.