Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions: Part 1 – Where to Start

Nov 22, 2022

Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions

The requirements for Scope 3 emissions quantification will continue to increase as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

In this Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions Series we have consolidated and summarised our learnings from working across the globe, decarbonising some of the hardest industrial sectors. We provide you with a range of information on Scope 3 emissions and some of the challenges and pitfalls you may face in your journey. 

Many clients are grappling with Scope 3 emissions and in turn are not approaching the Scope 3 emissions as they should.

This series will demystify the complexity and provide you with the foundations to tackle the development of a Scope 3 Strategy. 


What are Scope 3 Emissions?

Scope 3 emissions are the indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with the activities of your business, both upstream and downstream of your company’s operations.

Value chains are complex and hard to influence, most importantly, it is typical that 80-90% of a company’s emissions sit within its value chain.

This is critical to understand when setting long-term emission targets for your company. Do not set long-term net zero or decarbonisation targets without understanding the potential exposures associated with your value chain.

As per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Scope 3 Guidance, Scope 3 emissions are divided into 15 categories, split across upstream and downstream emissions.

Scope 3 Emission Categories

  1. Purchased goods and services 
  2. Capital goods
  3. Fuel and energy use
  4. Upstream transport and distribution
  5. Waste generated in company operations
  6. Business travel
  7. Employee commuting
  8. Upstream leased assets
  9. Downstream transport and distribution
  10. Processing of sold products
  11. End-use of sold goods and service
  12. Waste disposal and treatment of products
  13. Downstream leased assets
  14. Operations of franchises
  15. Investments
Why do you need to care about Scope 3 emissions?

You need to remain commercially competitive; there is increasing customer expectation that companies are helping the planet to achieve the low carbon transition. As such, customers in your value chain are looking for low-emission products. In addition, there is increasing regulatory mandate to report on Scope 3 emissions.

The International Sustainability Standards Board recently announced that Scope 3 reporting will be mandatory. In addition the Taskforce for Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) requires companies to understand the carbon liabilities and risks associated with their value chains.


What can you do to start?

Have a think about your company and which of the Scope 3 categories above might apply to your company.

Be sure to look at the rest of this Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions Series.


If you would like to know more

Contact us at Evolveable Consulting, and we assist businesses in identifying decarbonisation solutions and strategies to reshape their business. You can learn more about our services or book a consultation directly with us.


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