Apple pens support for disclosing Scope 3 emissions under California Climate bill

Apple has officially communicated its endorsement of rigorous corporate climate emission disclosure measures to California legislators. The letter, authored by Mike Foulkes, Apple’s director of state and local government affairs, is addressed to California State Senator Scott Weiner, who introduced Senate Bill 253.

This proposed bill stipulates that companies with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion must provide comprehensive details regarding greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations. These emissions are categorised into three distinct scopes. Scope 1 encompasses emissions generated directly by a company’s owned sources, including emissions from combustion processes such as furnaces and boilers. Scope 2 pertains to indirect greenhouse gas emissions linked to activities like electricity procurement and heating or cooling infrastructure. Scope 3 emissions that hold particular significance, stem from a company’s supply chain and value chain, and constitute the largest portion of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, quantifying and monitoring Scope 3 emissions is a challenging task.

Senate Bill 253 primarily focuses on Scope 3 emissions, proposing stringent reporting standards for these emissions. The bill mandates that companies reporting annual revenues exceeding $1 billion disclose Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2026, with the inclusion of Scope 3 data commencing in 2027.

In Apple’s letter expressing support for the California Climate Bill, the company underscores the importance of including Scope 3 emissions in carbon emissions disclosures:

“To ensure accuracy and transparency, we strongly believe that companies’ carbon emissions disclosures should include their scope 3 emissions. While these emissions can be challenging to measure, they are essential to understanding the full range of a company’s climate impacts.

We acknowledge that there is inherent uncertainty in modelling carbon emissions, primarily due to data limitations. Scope 3 emissions, in particular, involve making educated assumptions and complex modelling. We believe, however, that our reports attest to the feasibility of reasonably modelling, measuring, and reporting on all three scopes of emissions, including scope 3 emissions, which represent the overwhelming majority of most companies’ carbon footprint and are therefore critical to include.”

Apple also mentioned in the letter that similar climate disclosures should also be made mandatory by other regulatory agencies on national and international levels.

“Given the likely proliferation of mandatory disclosures at the international, national, and sub-national level, we would appreciate the provisions for the state board to minimise the need for reporting entities to prepare duplicative reports or engage multiple assurance providers,” Foulkes wrote. “We would welcome further efforts to promote convergence at a national and international level.”

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