Commit across your value chain
A low carbon economy can’t be achieved without businesses addressing their value chain. Engaging with all those organisations up and downstream of your business is an important first step.
Some examples of common value chain emission sources include waste, purchased goods and services, and business travel.
By measuring your value chain emissions, you may find emissions hotspots and opportunities to reduce costs. You can identify which suppliers are leaders and which are laggards in terms of their sustainability performance. If your find laggards, engage them and collaborate on ways to improve.
The upstream and downstream impacts of a business’ operations are never ending. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol technical guidance for calculating scope 3 emissions provides 15 categories to consider. It also includes a relevance test that can help you decide on where to draw the boundary in calculating your scope 3 emissions.
If you’re after carbon neutral accreditation, you’ll need to seek guidance from a carbon consultant on applying the relevant test. If you’re not seeking to be carbon neutral certified, you can decide how to approach it but this brings greater risk of green washing.
Purchasing carbon neutral products and services is an excellent way of reducing your scope 3 emissions.
Be part of the circular economy
Emissions from waste are another scope 3 emission. Shifting towards a circular approach to how you do business can address this. This means adopting 3 circular economy principles:
Design out waste and pollution.
Keep products and materials in use.
Regenerate natural systems.
Some examples of what you can do include procuring reusable items instead of single-use or fitting-out an office with second-hand furniture.
Collaboration and innovation in design and procurement are often important elements of the circular economy in action.