Carbon footprinting classifies emissions into three categories or scopes depending on whether the emissions are emitted directly as part of the activity (Scope 1) or of they are emitted indirectly by using inputs that emit greenhouses gases in their manufacture or distribution (Scope 3). Electricity purchased for the operation has its own category (Scope 2).
A recent HAL project estimated emissions by the Australian vegetable industry. The majority of emissions were indirect, including inputs such as fertiliser, electricity and chemical use, totalling 788,431 T CO2-e / year. Direct emissions from soil and diesel use on farms totalled 258,577 T CO2-e / year. Total emissions are therefore just over 1 million T CO2-e / year. This means that the vegetable industry has a much lower overall total carbon footprint than many other food industries.