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Economist: 5th annual ESG and Climate Risk Week: Why most business don’t understand scope 3 emissions

September 13, 2023
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Introduction by Dennis Pamlin:

Welcome everyone to the session “Why most businesses don’t understand scope 3 emissions” where we will look at one of the most challenging and important issues for companies today, scope 3 emissions. The basic definition is simple:  Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

But why are these emissions so important, what is included, how do we get relevant data, how do we use the data today, what is around the corner, and most importantly of all what actions are needed to deliver a globally sustainable 1.5C future. How scope 3 data can help us address these are some of the questions we will discuss today.

Before I invite the panellists I just want to remind the audience that this is part of the Economists 5th annual ESG and Climate Risk Week.

Here we want to provide practical scenarios. We want to explore how companies can align with global commitments, or even go beyond these, be part of a just and inclusive low-carbon transition. We want you to be able to go back to your organizations with better understanding of Scope 3 work and how you can take action that delivers significant results.

What are companies doing to deliver what is needed is a question at the heart of scope 3.

The work with emissions along the value chain has two parts:

1.     Climate risk innovation (how to comply and reduce the emissions from the company). Here the company or the sector is the reference and the best a company can do is report net-zero.

2.     Climate opportunity innovation (how we can deliver on human needs in a sustainable way, i.e. a future world that is sustainable and where 11 billion can live flourishing lives. Here the actual emissions in society related to human needs is the reference. The best a company can do here is contribute to maximum reduced/avoided emissions by providing what the world needs. Mission Innovation and WBCSD has for example released guidance for how to use dual LCAs (Scope 1-3) for both the companies solution and the LCA for current way of delivering a solution.