Decarbonising Scope 3 Emissions: Part 5 – Sustainable Procurement

Dec 4, 2022

Scope 3 – Sustainable Procurement – how can it help?

This article is for the procurement teams!

As the world decarbonises, procurement teams must understand Scope 3 emissions and how they can source lower carbon products throughout their value chain.

The focus is rapidly shifting from carbon emissions to a circular economy approach whereby waste streams are considered valuable.

Sustainable Procurement driving Scope 3 reductions

There is an increasing focus on selecting sustainable or low-carbon products. So how do you set a framework for choosing sustainable products?

A Sustainable Procurement Policy is one of the most significant levers you can pull from an organisational perspective.

A Sustainable Procurement Policy is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a life-cycle basis while addressing equity principles for sustainable development, benefiting societies and the environment across time and geographies.

Sustainable procurement helps build a circular economy, aiming to reduce adverse social, environmental and economic impacts of purchased goods and services throughout their life. This includes considerations such as waste disposal and the cost of operations and maintenance over the life of the goods and services.

So how can you enable Sustainable Procurement from an emissions perspective?

For Scope 3 emissions, you can go to the market and look for lower carbon alternatives for your desired product or service. Ideally, you want to start with the emission hotspots in the value chain you identified as part of the materiality assessment we covered in our previous video.

This market testing can be done with both existing suppliers and new suppliers.

The Australian Government has a great Sustainable Procurement Policy in place, you can learn more here. The circular economy and emissions are key levers as part of this to decarbonise Australia.

Five questions you should consider

Factors to consider as part of assessing new products are:
• Do you need to buy the product, or can you lease the product?
• Does the low-carbon product meet the exact quality requirements?
• Is there a cost differential?
• Is there a sufficient supply of the new product?
• What’s the longer-term trade-off of the existing product (ie. will it be impacted by the carbon tax and the cost increase in the longer term)

Having these questions in mind when procuring new products will help you to accelerate your Scope 3 decarbonisation journey.

Three actions to start your journey

Below we list three actions for you to start your Sustainable Procurement journey today:
1. Does your company have a sustainable procurement policy?
2. What are your value chain emission hotspots to look for lower emission alternatives?
3. What factors should you consider as part of sustainable procurement?

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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