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The Sexy Solution to Scope 3 Emissions

Did you know that for an average business, most GHG emissions come from their supply chain (scope 3)?

Check out the diagram below for a quick breakdown. Scope 1, 2, and 3 make up all the emissions released by an organization.

In short:

Scope 1 & 2- emissions are controlled by the company

Scope 3: supply chain emissions outside the control of the company.

This makes sense for businesses who don’t manufacture anything themselves. The ones who don’t own any trucks on the road. For example; an events company. Restaurant chains. Insurance companies. Most food and beverage companies. Heck, even 80% of Walmart’s emissions are scope 3.

This past month, W2R has been working with a marketing and design agency to measure their overall emissions.

While they do digital design, they also have a merchandise branch of work where they customize products for their clients. Think: blankets, hoodies, mugs, etc.

Wouldn’t you know it… 99% of their emissions comes from their supply chain (scope 3).

And 81% from the products they purchase.

So how can a company like this, make meaningful climate action? What can they do when most of their emissions come from their suppliers.

Here’s the sexy solution….

Are you ready?

Supplier Engagement!

Supplier engagement means a system designed to work with supplier such that sustainability goals are achieved collectively.

To calculate the most accurate scope 3 emissions, we need the most accurate data. Sure, we can use industry averages but by getting data straight from our suppliers, we can increase the accuracy of our emissions.

So how does Supplier Engagement work? Well, it works in two parts.

1. First, you need an internal plan to engage your suppliers.

2. Then, you need a system to work with your suppliers. For example, what kind of info will you collect from them? How often will you communicate? HOW will you engage? Will there be consequences like penalties or incentives for data collection?

Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

If you’d like to learn more about supplier engagement in detail, check out this guidance document.

Supplier engagement is a major undertaking. So, remember the following:

1. It’s a long-term game. It takes a long time (>2 years) to effectively engage the right suppliers towards a common good.

2. You're not alone! As part of our services, W2R can measure your scope 3 emissions AND engage your suppliers.

3. You get to create your own engagement plan. You get to decide what kind of suppliers you work with and the kinds of values they possess. The world is your oyster!

Want to hear about a feel-good story of successful supplier engagement?


This dairy co-op is now paying farmers for milk if their climate targets are met.



If you’re ready to take meaningful climate action by engaging your suppliers, book your first consult with us now. It’s free and easy.





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