What are operational & organizational boundaries?

Operational boundaries refer to the specific limits or geographical areas within which an organization conducts its activities and over which it has operational control. In the context of environmental management and greenhouse gas emissions accounting, operational boundaries define where an organization directly influences or manages its environmental impacts.

Within these boundaries, the organization has direct authority and control over its operations and activities.

Operational boundaries encompass the physical locations, facilities, and assets owned or directly controlled by the organization.

Direct emissions (Scope 1 emissions) primarily occur within operational boundaries because they originate from sources owned or controlled by the organization, such as on-site energy generation or industrial processes.

Organizational boundaries, on the other hand, are broader and define the scope of the organization as a whole, encompassing its entire value chain and the relationships it has with external stakeholders.

Organizational boundaries extend beyond the physical locations and facilities owned or controlled by the organization.

They include indirect emissions (Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions) that result from activities and sources that are not directly owned or controlled by the organization but are associated with its products, services, and operations.

Organizational boundaries account for emissions from suppliers, customers, transportation, waste generation, and other elements of the value chain.

In summary:

Operational boundaries focus on the areas where an organization has direct control and influence. They primarily deal with emissions originating from sources within these operational limits (Scope 1 emissions). Organizational boundaries, on the other hand, take a more comprehensive view, considering emissions both within and beyond the organization’s immediate control. They include emissions resulting from activities, products, and services along the entire value chain (Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions).

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Nick Houseman
+1 514 449-0877
1375 Trans Canada, Suite 601
Dorval, QC
H9P 2W8
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