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In the face of calls from a wide group of stakeholders to protect people and planet, businesses have been addressing their Scope 1 and 2 emissions for some years in an effort to operate more sustainably. But pressure is now mounting to look further afield; organisations are being asked to address their value chain (Scope 3) emissions, especially in the upstream supply chain where 80% of the average company's total emissions impact will sit. This pressure has only increased following the recent Netherlands court ruling, where Royal Dutch Shell were told their 2030 emissions reduction commitment must also include 'suppliers and customers of the group'.
While scopes 1 and 2 are relatively easy to affect, reducing value chain emissions requires influencing third party actors outside of the organisation: chiefly suppliers. This makes them much trickier to tackle. In order to address scope 3 emissions and meet strategic sustainability goals, organisations must begin working closely with their supplier base – something that large enterprise businesses find exceptionally difficult to do.