Scopes 1, 2, 3, and ….. FOUR?

Legend tells us that smoke was first weighed in the 16th century by Sir Walter Raleigh. When Queen Elizabeth bet that this was impossible, Sir Walter weighed the tobacco in his pipe, smoked it, then weighed the ashes. The difference was the weight of the smoke.

We can estimate Greenhouse Gas emissions produced by companies, their suppliers, and the entire life-time use of their products.

Can we weigh the smoke if we don’t light the pipe?

Five hundred years later, this is a much more pertinent question. Can we estimate emissions avoided? This non-existent smoke is called Scope 4.

Capital goods manufacturers have historically been enablers of productivity. Will they become known as the enablers of carbon reduction? Will they be the ‘producers’ of negative emissions, and Scope 4?

Generations of accountants attempted to calculate future profit against costs of upgrading capital equipment.


As companies – and all of us – begin to suffer real financial costs from emissions, we need to calculate the amount of emissions we can save or avoid from changing the equipment we use. Dull, boring, capital goods companies? – the next new thing!