Scope 3 carbon emissions dominate the carbon conversation

Driven by the Paris Agreement and the need to meet goals on climate change, environmentally-conscious companies across the world are stepping up their attempts to contribute towards a net zero carbon economy.

Understanding the emissions that they generate directly is only half the battle, though. On top of operational emissions, bracketed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as Scope 1 and 2, to fully understand their carbon footprint companies need to calculate, and then eliminate, emissions across the supply/value chain – Scope 3 emissions.

Emissions generated by a supplier’s activities may come about through the production of raw materials or components, or through smaller scale day-to-day activities such as business travel and the disposal of waste.

According to Deloitte, these Scope 3 emissions account for more than 70 per cent of their carbon footprint, which underlines how important it is for companies to obtain the necessary information from suppliers.

The detail is in the data

Suppliers that do not have to be compliant with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme may have taken a laissez-faire approach to evaluating their carbon footprint as a company, so the process of gathering this information is not always straightforward.

The willingness of suppliers to lend their support in this issue may depend on their own net zero culture, the relationship between the companies involved, and pressure from outside in terms of environmental transparency.

To sidestep this challenge and reach net zero, companies may decide to review their supply chain and set out to work only with like-minded ‘green’ companies, or even attempt to ‘de-scope’ emissions by outsourcing emissions-heavy activities like manufacturing.

At Energy Management, we understand that measuring your Scope 3 emissions can be complex, even down to simply deciding what should be included.

We can help your business to evaluate the impact of your Scope 3 emissions and your net-zero journey could start with a brief call with one of our energy consultants, who can be contacted on 01225 867722.

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