April 28, 2022
Upstream emissions are the scope 3 emissions that are generated from cradle to gate. They are associated with processing, production, storage and distribution of fossil fuels. Upstream emissions represent around 4x of operations and therefore, reducing them mitigates climate change.
To effectively reduce upstream emissions businesses must actively engage with suppliers and vendors across the whole supply chain. That can be challenging as there can be thousands of suppliers, unavailable data, or gaps in the data, limited resources to collect and organize, or inefficiencies in communicating with other parties involved.
The Gold Standard has developed an effective framework for supplier engagement that empowers businesses to reduce upstream emissions and meet their targets.
In this article, we will explain the framework in detail and show how Net0 empowers businesses to measure and reduce upstream emissions.
The framework for supplier engagement consists of two stages:
To develop a sustainable strategy, the company must first (1) identify the suppliers to engage with and then (2) formulate the strategy.
The most effective strategy proves to be starting with the highest emitting suppliers and once those are identified, moving on to the rest.
Once all suppliers are identified and organized, the strategy of engagement should be formulated.
The strategy should be actively promoted by the CEO, CPO and other responsible leadership teams across various departments of the company.
Net0’s community of professional consultants (both agencies and individual experts) offers great help when it comes to formulating strategies. Depending on the industry, location and other requirements, Net0's team will help you find an expert to work with to consider available resources and constraints, and define a clear strategy with measurable and reliable goals.
To learn about more strategies and approaches, take a look at these free resources about guides and regulations:
• Article: GHG Reporting: Everything You Need to Know
• Article: Scope 3 Emissions: Contributing Factors, Measurement and Reduction
• Article: Scope 4 Avoided Emissions: What You Need to Know
Establishing a transparent and effective two-way communication with suppliers is a crucial step in the process. The company's goal will be to inform suppliers of desired actions and outcomes as well as collect the data to monitor progress and improve processes.
Sometimes establishing such communication might not be as easy as suppliers might choose not to disclose the information. In fact, if two companies request a supplier to disclose to the CDP, there is a 68% probability that the supplier will respond. If three companies send a request, then there is a 76% likelihood they will respond, according to reporting statistics provided by the Gold Standard.
Consistently collaborating with suppliers is important for achieving long-term goals. This determines the methods with which the suppliers will engage. These methods can fall under the following categories:
The cascade mechanism is effective for suppliers to engage with each other throughout various tiers of the supply chain to adopt emissions reduction targets.
Net0's software solution aims to make carbon accounting and emissions management as seamless for all value chain participants as possible. Automating data collection through integrations with ERP systems and API access simplifies data collection on an ongoing basis and ensures accuracy.
Since there are many challenges along the way (such as emission data gaps, inability to organize data, sparse and of poor quality data, and the high cost of acquiring the information), constant support is needed for smooth cooperation.
Monitoring your emissions actions is key when following a carbon reduction strategy to assess progress and make even more robust emissions targets every year.
The Net0 platform records all emissions, categorizes and itemizes emissions by activities, vendors, or emission scopes, provides businesses with in-depth analyses, and empowers teams to track the progress of the way to net zero.
Progress can also easily be communicated to the public, media, investors, and end consumers via the public dashboard that companies can give access to by sharing their customized link. Being transparent by communicating their efforts with others in the ecosystem with live data, increases trust, loyalty, and drives strong, reliable partnerships.
The last step of the process is the one that creates measurable and continuous impact across the value chain.
At this stage of the process the company should actively and continuously employ reinforcement mechanisms, positive or negative, to incentivize action.
Involving vendors and other players in your supply chain to help reduce upstream emissions is a necessary practice to mitigate and significantly cut carbon emissions across the supply chain. The framework for supplier engagement developed by the Gold Standard is a helpful step-by-step guide on how to approach management of value chain CO2 emissions. While the framework is a great guide, practical tools are needed to accurately follow each of the steps outlined in the framework. Net0 carbon accounting software offers a practical solution for each of the stages of the process and transforms the way businesses connect with suppliers, collect data, and improves transparency with its precision. Data analytics available on the Net0 platform translates these into actionable insights, empowers team involvement, promotes transparency, and significantly improves the decision making process within the business as well as outside of internal business processes.
For most companies, acting to reduce carbon emissions throughout the value chain is one of the most important and impactful steps that can be taken to fight climate change. Net0 makes the transition smooth and effective.
Go one step further and make the decision to book a free call today with an expert from Net0. Experience how the platform takes your upstream emissions data and converts it accurately to carbon tonnage, making it easy for you to measure, track, pinpoint and reduce emissions from various sources, offset, accurately report, and get carbon-neutral certified.
Cover photo by Chris LeBoutillier from Pexels