Scope 3 Emissions: An Intro for Businesses

An Intro to Scope 3 Emissions

As businesses strive to become more sustainable, it’s important to understand the impact of Scope 3 emissions. These indirect emissions occur throughout a company’s value chain, making up a significant portion of its carbon footprint. In this business tip, we’ll explore what these emissions are, why they matter, and how businesses can manage them.

What are Scope 3 Emissions?

Scope 3 emissions (or indirect or value chain emissions) are greenhouse gas emissions that occur outside of a company’s direct control but are associated with their activities. They include emissions from the extraction of raw materials, transportation of goods, and disposal of waste. They can account for around 75% of a company’s total carbon footprint, making them a crucial area for businesses to address.

There are 15 categories of indirect emissions, including purchased goods and services, upstream transportation, and downstream use of products.

Why Manage Scope 3 Emissions?

Managing Scope 3 emissions is essential for businesses seeking to reduce their environmental impact and operate sustainably. Not only do they account for the majority of a company’s carbon footprint, but they are also increasingly important to customers, investors, and regulators. Companies that don’t address their indirect emissions risk damaging their reputation and bottom line.

By managing indirect emissions, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint, improve their reputation, and gain a competitive advantage.

How to Manage Scope 3 Emissions

To manage Scope 3 emissions, businesses must first measure and report their indirect emissions. This involves working with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders to gather data on emissions throughout the value chain. Once businesses have a clear picture of their value chain emissions, they can set reduction targets and implement strategies to reduce emissions.

One effective strategy is to work with suppliers to encourage more sustainable practices and reduce emissions in the supply chain. Another strategy is to focus on circular business models, such as recycling and reuse, to reduce waste and emissions.

It’s also important for businesses to engage with stakeholders and communicate their sustainability efforts transparently. This can help build trust and credibility with customers, investors, and other stakeholders.

Scope 3 Emissions - Working with suppliers is an effective way to reduce scope 3 emissions
Working with suppliers is an effective way to reduce scope 3 emissions

Examples of Scope 3 Emissions Management

There are many examples of companies successfully managing their Scope 3 emissions. For instance, Walmart has set a goal to reduce indirect emissions by one gigaton by 2030. They are working with suppliers to reduce emissions throughout the supply chain, and have implemented a sustainable packaging playbook to reduce waste.

Another example is Apple, which has reduced indirect emissions by 40% since 2015. They are using renewable energy sources and promoting circular business models, such as encouraging customers to recycle their old devices.

These examples demonstrate that managing value chain emissions is not only good for the environment, but also makes good business sense.

Scope 3 Emissions - Walmart is collaborating with suppliers to reduce its scope 3 emissions
Walmart is collaborating with suppliers to reduce its scope 3 emissions

That’s a Wrap

Managing indirect emissions is crucial for businesses seeking to operate sustainably and reduce their environmental impact. By measuring and reporting their indirect emissions, setting reduction targets, and implementing sustainable practices, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and improve their reputation. At Play It Green, we’re committed to helping businesses manage their Scope 3 emissions and operate sustainably. Get in touch today and learn how we can help your business with its sustainable transition.

If you’re passionate about sustainability and want to take your efforts to the next level, we encourage you to join the Play It Green community. 

For just £5 per month, you’ll have access to a supportive network of like-minded individuals and resources to help you make even more sustainable choices in your daily and working life. 

As well as that you will plant lots of trees and regift to a charity of your choice. Together, we can create a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

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