Theatre Green Book OPERATIONS Toolkit –

Scope 3 Emissions Audit

A Scope 3 Emissions audit tells you:

• Which are your biggest environmental impacts.

• Which impacts are under your control.

It doesn’t have to be a formal process.  Once you’ve read the Theatre Green Book : Sustainable Operations, you’ll be able to carry out an audit by yourselves.  

A quick way of spotting those activities that cause the most emissions, and which you’re best able to control, comes from looking at where you spend the most money. If you list your ‘Scope 3 emissions’, from purchasing paper supply through to audience travel, in order of how much you spend on each, you’ll get a good idea of which to target first.

The government provides simplified guidance to help:

The document is entitled “Environmental Reporting Guidelines: Including streamlined energy and carbon reporting guidance (March 2019)”. Annex E shows a simple guide for supply chain emissions. It gives generic data on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions typically associated with particular purchases. This can be used to identify your main sources of emissions.

For example, if £1,000 is spent on ‘ceramic goods’ in 2009, then the table calculates that 585 kilograms of CO2e were released during all stages of the production of these goods, including raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, transportation, packaging etc.

The table should only be used to gain an overview of emissions where the only data you have is cost. It shouldn’t be used in cases where you have better information – for example, where you can calculate transport emissions from mileage travelled. 

To have a Scope 3 emissions assessment done in more detail, seek professional help. But the important thing is not to get lost in detail. A couple of hours with the Green Team will probably identify where you can have the most impact. The purpose of a Scope 3 Emissions Audit is to trigger action – not create paperwork.