Scope 3: What is it?
To tackle the climate emergency organisations need to understand the impact their activities are having. With this knowledge they can design and implement solutions to reduce their footprint.
The GHG Protocol has established global standardised frameworks to measure emissions and manage mitigation actions.
The GHG Protocol defines three scopes of emissions: 1, 2 and 3. The different scopes relate to whether the emissions are directly or indirectly attributable, the type of indirect emission and whether they are generated in the value chain of the reporting organisations, shown in the diagram below.
Scope 1 (direct GHG emissions from company-owned and controlled resources) and Scope 2 (indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased or acquired energy) have been relatively straightforward for most organisations to report on.
Scope 3 represents a significantly more complicated reporting challenge (represented in Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s diagram below). It is estimated that 70% or more of an organisation’s GHG emissions are Scope 3. Although this represents the largest source of a company’s emissions it also offers the greatest opportunity to make reductions and achieve corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) and Net Zero Carbon objectives.
How can SmartWaste help achieve Scope 3?
Organisations operating in the built environment are accelerating efforts to establish their baseline carbon footprint and, by openly publishing climate change targets, demonstrating their commitment to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Reporting on Scope 1 and 2 is a mandatory requirement, but the pressure to report on and influence Scope 3 is growing especially in the drive towards Net Zero. Forward thinking business are recognising that this will rapidly become a key differentiator for stakeholders: investors, customers, regulators and custodians of public interest.
SmartWaste is BRE’s environmental and sustainability monitoring and management solution that helps construction, refurbishment and demolition companies deliver upstream Scope 3 reporting. Our solution can capture cradle-to-gate project data covering fuel and energy related activities, water consumption, upstream transportation and distribution, waste generated in operations, and employee commuting.
SmartWaste delivers the following Scope 3 functionality:
Establish a baseline
– to design and implement solutions that will reduce their carbon footprint organisations need to measure the impact of their construction related activities. SmartWaste provides a proven upstream data capture solution, whether for materials, fuel, energy and water used on site, waste generated, or the transportation of materials, waste and people (business or commuting).
Set and manage targets
– using Scope 1, 2, and 3 data, BRE and SmartWaste benchmarks and forecasting tools can be used to establish your climate action ambitions and inform science-based targets, as many SmartWaste customers are doing.
Connect with your value chain
– engage your project supply chains so that they can provide you with their data on materials used, waste produced, energy and water consumed, transportation and travel to inform on indirect Scope 3 emissions.
Automatically collect data
– upstream Scope 3 emissions will generate significant volumes of data. Using SmartWaste’s application programming interface (API) and bulk upload functionality integrate with your value chain’s source systems to capture and collate this Scope 3 emissions data automatically, accurately and reliably.
Performance measurement and insight
– SmartWaste provides extensive reporting capabilities, performance indicators and benchmarks to help your organisation manage its GHG emissions, climate action ambitions and Scope 3 reporting.
The diagram below shows what Scope 3 functionality and benefits are delivered by SmartWaste.
What Scope 3 Benefits does SmartWaste deliver?
Delivering on Scope 3 emissions reporting using SmartWaste can help a customer realise several benefits:
Increase sales and encourage customer loyalty
Evidence low emission construction practices, efficient use of materials, energy and water, and waste recycling/repurposing to meet the increasing customer demand for climate efficient services and buildings.
Enhance their reputation, brand and stakeholder relationships
Demonstrate environmental and sustainability improvements and actual performance against Scope 3 emission targets.
Recognise which value chain suppliers contribute towards climate actions and objectives.
Understand and manage potential climate change risks: in biodiversity, energy, materials, waste and water.
Using SmartWaste to help reduce GHG emissions is likely to result in greater operational efficiency and cost savings (e.g. a reduction in energy consumption).
Understanding your GHG baseline and setting ambitious climate action targets based upon SmartWaste insight and tools can help incentivise supply chain management and product design innovation.
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