The use of scopes is important, as it allows investors to identify the true causes of emissions and suggest means of reducing them through engagement. An electricity utility would have relatively low Scope 1 emissions caused by its infrastructure or grid, but high Scope 2 emissions if its power came from the burning of fossil fuels rather than renewable sources.
A carmaker is an anomaly, since it would have relatively low Scope 1 and 2 emissions for making the car, but the user of the vehicle would burn petrol to run the car over many years, causing very high Scope 3 emissions.
While Scope 1 and 2 data are relatively easy to acquire, it can be very difficult to measure Scope 3 data; in the example of the car user, one could not know how many kilometers it would be driven. More forward-looking metrics are necessary to truly measure carbon footprints, both in terms of companies’ products and services, and their entire value chains.