Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Scope 3 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that occur both upstream and downstream of an organization’s value chain. As opposed to scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, which occur from sources that are owned or controlled by an organization, scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from value chain activities.

Assessing the relevancy of all fifteen scope 3 emissions categories can be intimidating. However, with growing regulatory requirements and customer expectations, this is becoming an increasingly mandatory step for companies on their sustainability journey.

How we can help

Many companies are facing regulatory, reputational, and investor pressures to increase their reporting transparency around scope 3 emissions. Understanding GHG emissions across a company’s entire value chain provides clarity as to where the emission hotspots are and where inefficiencies in the value chain may exist. A rigorous scope 3 inventory allows tracking of year-over-year emissions and highlights the effect of any operational changes on emissions or success of any decarbonization methods.

For companies who have or plan to set science-based targets, this knowledge can be used to prioritize decarbonization strategies, such as

  • Investigating the sustainability performance of suppliers and across procurement,
  • Encouraging the innovation of more energy-efficient products,
  • Engaging with employees to reduce emissions associated with travel and commuting,
  • Engaging with customers to inspire environmental consciousness,
  • Or other emission reduction strategies.

Aside from regulatory compliance, any of these actions may advance a company’s climate strategy and positively affect its outward impact on the communities and environments in which it operates.

Services Provided Include:

Developing a scope 3 emissions inventory typically follows the structure outlined below, in conformance with the GHG Protocol.

Boundary Definition

  • Detailed assessment that highlights supply chain and key activities

Data Availability Evaluation

  • Evaluation of current data systems and development of requests for information

Data Collection and Calculations

  • Collection and centralization of activity data
  • Emissions calculations utilizing multiple layers of data quality assurance, relevant methodologies, and emission factors

Delivery and Presentation of Results

  • Final scope 3 emissions inventory
  • Scope 3 emissions summary report
  • Explanation and contextualization of results
  • Documentation for repeatability and transparency of calculations
  • Recommendations for improvement
  • Highlights of decarbonization opportunities

Client Case Studies

ADEC ESG has completed scope 3 inventories for companies in a variety of sectors and with a breadth of challenges.

Scope 3 Inventory for Plastics Manufacturer

ADEC ESG completed a scope 3 inventory for a global plastics manufacturing company. This information allowed our client to develop a better understanding of the availability of plastic feedstock data within its supply chain and provided a catalyst for a deeper dive into supplier production processes, including a comparison of efficiency and feedstocks. The data provided also helped our client establish a foundation for setting a science-based target.

Client: Plastics Manufacturing Company

Location: Global

Project Results:

  • Full scope 3 GHG inventory
  • Improved understanding of plastic feedstock data within the supply chain
  • Led to additional investigation of supplier production processes
  • Foundation for science-based target

Scope 3 Inventory Leads to Emissions Reduction for Global IT Company

Our team developed a full scope 3 GHG inventory for a global Fortune 100 IT company using the most relevant and up-to-date methodologies, emission factors, and data available. The inventory identified the activities which created the most significant emissions within the company’s value chain, which encouraged our client to improve supplier and customer emissions reduction engagement. Our team also assessed the company’s dependency on third parties and their impact on climate goals, and provided guidance on how to navigate the most prevalent decarbonization challenges within our client’s industry.

Client: Fortune 100 Information and Communication Technology Company

Location: Global

Project Results and Deliverables:

  • Full scope 3 GHG inventory
  • Identification of activities with the most significant emissions
  • Informed client’s supplier and customer emission reduction engagement program
  • Assessed dependency on third parties and their impact on climate goals

Scope 3 Inventory and Stakeholder Engagement for Food and Beverage Giant

ADEC ESG completed a full scope 3 GHG inventory for a large food and beverage company operating worldwide. First, our team developed a detailed boundary definition to promote understanding of the company’s supply chain and key activities, identify priorities, and ensure the inclusion of every significant source of emissions. We then initiated engagement between key stakeholders across global operations, opening up communication pathways and ensuring that data was standardized, consistent, and shared. The final inventory helped our client to develop an understanding of global transportation mapping in order to improve data systems and drive efficiency—for example, results highlighted a need to map suppliers of certain raw materials and track their use of recycled content. The inventory also provided a foundation for our client to begin setting a science-based target.

Client: Fortune 500 Food and Beverage Company

Location: Global

Project Results and Deliverables:

  • Full scope 3 GHG inventory
  • Initiated engagement between key global stakeholders
  • Highlighted a need to map suppliers and their use of recycled content
  • Improved data systems and drove efficiency through a greater understanding of global transportation mapping
  • Foundation for science-based target

Scope 3 Inventory for Apparel and Footwear Company

ADEC ESG developed a full scope 3 GHG inventory for an apparel and footwear company based in the U.K. The project involved assessing the carbon intensity of certain materials compared to others, providing an opportunity for intentional design changes that would have a sizeable impact on our client’s overall emissions. The work also highlighted the benefits of circularity from an emissions perspective, which was a priority for our client. Our team then compared the results with previous years’ scope 3 inventories to identify gaps in data quality and completeness, as well as drive the improvement of data collection systems.

Client: Apparel and Footwear Company

Location: United Kingdom

Project Results and Deliverables:

  • Full scope 3 GHG inventory
  • Informed design changes to reduce overall emissions
  • Highlighted the benefits of circularity from an emissions perspective
  • Gap analysis to drive the improvement of data collection systems

Key Personnel

For more information, contact our ESG Strategy & Implementation team:

Culley Thomas, MSc, MCP

Head of ESG Strategy & Implementation

Culley has more than 20 years of experience in greenhouse gas emissions inventory development, climate strategy identification and prioritization, performance monitoring, and related analyses. He has extensive experience in leading multi-sector teams in the design and execution of complex data-driven environmental, social, and governance projects.

Culley Thomas, MSc, MCP Head of ESG Strategy & Implementation

Chris Lawless

Head of ESG Metrics and Disclosure

With more than 20 years of GHG management, sustainability, and environmental consulting experience, Chris has developed or verified more than 500 GHG inventories and is well-versed in GHG reporting and verification protocols, standards, and regulations. Chris is an accredited Lead Verifier for the California Air Resources Board Mandatory GHG emissions reporting and compliance offset programs and is a Lead Verifier for The Climate Registry program.

Chris Lawless Head of ESG Metrics and Disclosure

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