Scope 3 success requires competitor collaboration

digital product passports

Scope 3 emissions are a minefield no matter how large or small the organisation – gaining oversight of your entire value chain is complex! Around 80-90 per cent of emissions sit in Scope 3 and yet there’s a huge disparity between its influence on net-zero and the amount of investment and progress made to address it.

Jamie Ganderton, vice president of Proxima, believes that tackling the problem requires a detailed, credible strategy, which is interesting when you consider that recent research from The Carbon Disclosure Project revealed that of the over 18,000 organisations reporting to them, only 0.4 per cent had credible transition plans.

There are no silver bullets here, but those who are forging the path ahead the fastest are the ones who have recognised that they can achieve far more by working together and are embedding decarbonisation in the DNA of their business.

Ultimately, progress on Scope 3 needs to be sped up if businesses are going to hit their net-zero targets and collaboration will be key to helping businesses realise this at a much faster rate. We’ve developed The Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark, a tool which allows participating organisations to access collective learnings and work together to advance progress on Scope 3.

The challenges

Scope 3 covers an overwhelmingly vast network. It is difficult, complex and something that has never been done before. Businesses are struggling with where to start especially when considering the entire value chain, across the whole lifecycle of their supply network – there is an incredible amount of work to be done!

Collecting and reporting data can be time-consuming and resource intensive. Many businesses rely heavily on third-party sources and often aren’t involved in the Scope 3 calculations themselves. Therefore, they may struggle to understand their own Scope 3 footprint and thus improve it.

Most businesses don’t have the resources to tackle every Scope 3 category, and it’s easier to make emissions improvements in larger categories because even small changes can lead to greater impact. Businesses also want to know what others have done so they can speed up their own journey or seek buy-in and investment from their Board. This is where collaboration comes in and is essential. Scope 3 is a big transformation in how we operate, and businesses need to prepare and build a plan.

Collaboration not competition

Climate risk is facilitating B2B collaboration on a level I have never seen. Organizations in the Scope 3 Peer Group understand that the climate issues we’re facing are bigger than us and recognise that if they work together, it will be faster and cheaper than going it alone.

Knowledge sharing can help support businesses to reduce carbon emissions across their value chain. Sharing best practices for identifying, measuring, and reducing Scope 3 emissions help others to learn from mistakes as well as successes.

Additionally, agreeing a consistent approach that everyone adopts to build a standardised way of doing things such as supplier data requests, approach to carbon footprinting and so on. The work businesses do to tackle Scope 3 emissions can help strengthen relationships with suppliers and improve collaboration – actions that can lead to cost savings, new revenue-generating opportunities or both.

Collaborating allows you to compile resources to build tools and frameworks which can be utilised by all sorts of different sectors and organisations.

How the Scope 3 Benchmark can help

The Scope 3 Maturity Benchmark enables organisations to share best practices on Scope 3 approaches to move faster and with more certainty toward Net Zero. The intent was to build a useful tool that could help participating organizations. By getting involved, participants access the collective learnings of the community, who have worked together with Proxima to create a model that reflects their real insights on Scope 3; what they have done, are doing, and plan to do next.

The output for the participating organisation is the ability to benchmark vs. peers and then build credible and realistic action plans to move faster and with more certainty toward Net Zero.

The more we each contribute, the more we learn, and the faster we go. Progress on Scope 3 needs to accelerate if businesses are going to hit their net-zero targets.

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