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:

  1. Design out waste and pollution.

  2. Keep products and materials in use.

  3. 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.


  1. Webinar

    Green your supply chain

    This 90-min webinar will guide you through understanding your supply chain emissions profile and how to plan, source and manage your procurement. It is facilitated by Edge Impact and includes case studies from Dsquared and EcoVantage.

  2. Case study

    Greening your supply chain: How 3 businesses tackled the challenge

  3. Guide

    Tools for greening your supply chain

  4. Guide

    Green your supply chain 101

    This guide covers getting started on decarbonising your supply chain, including mapping your supply chain, the first steps to supplier engagement and common barriers and solutions.

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  5. Guide

    Green your supply chain: procurement support

    This guide will help you integrate sustainability into your procurement process. It covers creating sustainability requirements, example metrics for evaluation and monitoring, and data collection and measurement.

    Download PDF