The next frontier in supply chain management and carbon reduction lies in the emissions generated by suppliers along the entire lifecyle of a product. These "Scope 3 Emissions" are increasingly defining companies’ sustainability strategies.
The most widely used international accounting tool for Scope 3 Emissions is the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). The GHG Protocol is a decade long partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together, these standards help businesses, government and environment groups around the world assess the carbon cost of materials and products throughout a supply chain.
In October 2011 the GHG Protocol launched two new standards. The Corporate Value Chain Standards are the first standards companies can use to assess their full scope 3 emissions up and down the value chain and identify the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions. The Product Lifecycle Cycle Standards allow companies to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of an individual product from raw materials through use and disposal, as well as help to identify opportunities to increase efficiencies, improve product design, remove risks, and achieve emissions reductions.
Listen to the recording of our webinar with World Resources Institute, “The New Scope 3 Standards Uncovered: Measuring greenhouse gas emissions in your value chain,” with an introduction to the standards and the business case for their adoption. You can also access the presentation slides here.
The presentation covered the definition of scope 3 emissions, as well as the business case for their adoption. Cynthia spoke about the process of getting started with a scope 3 inventory, which begins with mapping the supply chain and then screening to identity hot spots and prioritize data collection. She addressed the issues of mapping boundaries in requirements and justifying exclusion of data. A number of different screening approaches were presented, including emission based screening and financial screening. The presentation ended with a rigorous question and answer period.
For further resources on scope 3 emissions, see the new Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain report or register to attend the April 3rd webinar, "A New Era: Supplier managment in the low-carbon economy."