How to factor Scope 3 emissions into your net zero journey

How to factor Scope 3 emissions into your net zero journey

For many businesses, reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions within their own direct operations is a key current focus – and this can be challenging enough.

But as awareness grows of the impact of indirect emissions – for example, those generated upstream by your supply chain and then downstream by how your customers use and dispose of your products or services – more organisations are also starting to look at ways to better understand and manage Scope 3 emissions.

An ideal place to start is by watching a recording of our webinar Scope 3: Waking up to the risk of "no action", as this will give you a useful overview of the issues, challenges, and opportunities to be aware of.

Insights from a trio of experts

More than 120 people registered to watch our webinar earlier today which included presentations from:

  • Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Director within Business Services at the Carbon Trust, who provides a clear and succinct introduction to understanding Scope 3 emissions and how to measure them.
  • Myself, Dan Owen, Business Development expert, sharing some insights into the practical considerations of tracking and managing Scope 3 emissions as part of wider net zero journey.
  • Lucy Pickett, Senior Global Sustainability Manager at Roche, who talks about the steps Roche is taking to reduce its supply chain emissions.
  • 90% of emissions are indirect

There is rarely a "one size fits all" approach to any aspect of net zero, and especially so when tackling Scope 3 emissions.

As Aleyn Smith-Gillespie illustrates, there is such huge variation between different sectors as well as companies themselves.

For example, the dairy industry can typically account for 70% upstream emissions versus around 10% operational and just 20% downstream emissions. Whereas the automotive sector has less than 25% upstream and operational emissions combined – but more than 75% downstream emissions.

Either way, these industries, like many others, find that around 90% of their emissions are indirect and fall within Scope 3 classification.

When it comes to supply-chain emissions, on average, these tend to be 11 times higher than operational emissions.

Engaging suppliers is key

Collaboration with suppliers is therefore key. And in the webinar, I share some ideas about how to best go about this.

For example, set clear expectations for your suppliers and consider incentivising your supply chain partners when it comes to data gathering and implementing carbon reduction measures.

Finally, Lucy Pickett shared the Scope 3 management journey that Roche has begun, where as a business, they spend £18.2 billion per year with more than 60,000 suppliers.

The focus in the UK has been to buy REGO-backed renewable energy* and offer this at competitive rates to key parts of their supply chain, gaining access to emission reporting data to help build a fuller Scope 3 picture for Roche in return.

Next steps include sourcing renewable energy direct from individual generators via corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

You can find out more and listen to the detail in this hour-long Scope 3: Waking up to the risk of "no action" webinar recording, which you can access here, or watch below.

And if you have any questions about Scope 3 emissions, or need help and support with any aspect of net zero, please let me know when is a good time to get in touch here.

*Renewable Electricity Guarantees of Origin (REGO)-backed energy provides a clear and compliant way to demonstrate that the power your business consumes is 100% renewable from a traceable source. To watch our renewable energy video, click here.

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