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Five Steps to Improving Scope 3 Emissions Visibility for Supply Chain Sustainability

June 9, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Companies need full visibility across their supply chain partner ecosystems in order to make significant progress on net zero targets by 2050, according to Accenture.

Still, achieving end-to-end supply chain visibility is an extremely tall challenge. The reason: Nearly two-thirds of upstream Scope 3 emissions in supply chains come from suppliers that companies don’t deal with directly, Accenture found. And those Scope 3 emissions are 11.4x greater than all other emissions combined, the global IT consulting firm said.

To gain that end-to-end supply chain visibility, Accenture recommends these five steps (word for word):

  1. Conduct a real multi-tier emissions hot spot analysis to set targets and drive the right actions. The insights from such an analysis provide the foundation for an action plan to address the areas of most significant impact.
  2. Embed sustainability into category planning and supplier selection. Depending on the hot spot areas identified, a company can customize category plans, including emission-reduction strategies, to address hot spots as appropriate.
  3. Integrate emissions into the supply chain control tower and implement a digital twin. Control towers that centralize visibility and decision making and guiding actions with short- and long-term benefits combined with a digital twin of the supply chain generates the end-to-end visibility necessary to optimize supply chain networks across service, costs, quality, and sustainability — in real time.
  4. Support suppliers in their ongoing decarbonization efforts. Segmenting the supplier base can help companies tailor their engagement programs appropriately, as long as they’re also improving supplier data quality.
  5. Collaborate across sectors, with peers, suppliers and ecosystem partners to speed up decarbonization at scale. An intelligent platform solution to aggregate data from multiple parties and make recommendations on the most effective steps towards decarbonization is critical.

Here's a link to the complete Accenture report, titled "Thought You Knew the Scope 3 Issues in Your Supply Chain? Think again."

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