A Systematic Approach To Identifying Scope 3 Emissions

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Damien Lieber Manager, Sustainability Solutions - Americas
Marisa Donnelly Director, Sustainability Solutions - Americas
Scope 3 Emissions
Decarbonization
Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Organizations with momentum behind decarbonizing their supply chain often find it challenging to keep the same pace when it comes to Scope 3 inventories. The early actions of supply chain decarbonization like improving sourcing and utilization internally and engaging select tier 1 supplier to commit to Science-Based Targets (SBTs) may not be enough to reach ambitious targets. While these actions can drive meaningful reductions, pinpointing the source of challenging Scope 3 emissions requires a systematic approach.

Learn how Meta used this approach to address it's Scope 3 emissions. View eBook→

Key Takeaways

We have developed a methodology to help organizations better pinpoint these difficult-to-identify emissions. This approach allows organizations to take their existing Scope 3 inventory and translate it into the language of Scope 1 & 2 emissions sources. Once the Scope 3 inventory is translated into these terms, it is easier for organizations to identify emissions hot spots and apply some of the more traditional Scope 1 & 2 emissions reduction actions, in partnership with other value chain stakeholders.

Translating Your Scope 3 Inventory

To apply this approach, we start with the existing Scope 3 inventory and apply two additional lenses to it.

  1. The first lens identifies the economic activities underpinning each Scope 3 category.
  2. The second lens identifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sources underpinning each economic activity.

This work serves as a first step to help organizations better understand the root sources of the GHG emissions that comprise their Scope 3 inventory. This approach can also help organizations identify how they can intervene in their value chains to drive meaningful, additional reductions that go beyond tier 1 vendors and/or drive reductions at scale in emissions fragmented across many suppliers.

A New Perspective on Scope 3

This perspective is not meant to create a new accounting or reporting methodology. Instead, it aims to enable the understanding of which activities in the global economy have emissions embedded in a company’s Scope 3, how these activities emit greenhouse gases, how they can transition to lower emission alternatives, and how fast they are forecasted to transition.

Equipped with this understanding, companies can gain the clarity needed to decide which parts of the economy and which intervention levers to focus their resources on for catalyzing action.

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