The other day, a CEO approached me with a pressing concern. He asked, "What questions should I be asking my business about how we are working with our suppliers to ensure we hit our Scope 3 emissions reductions targets by 2030?" It's a question that many top executives are grappling with as the urgency to address climate change intensifies. After reflecting on this, I've compiled a list of essential questions that can guide CEOs and their leadership teams on this journey. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these.
1. Awareness: Building the Foundation
Before diving deep, it's crucial to have a foundational understanding of your supply chain's landscape concerning emissions. Here are some starting points:
- Are we aware of the major suppliers contributing to our Scope 3 emissions?
- Do we have an initial understanding of our suppliers' sustainability practices and commitments?
- Have we communicated our sustainability expectations to our suppliers?
- Are we aware of industry best practices for supplier collaboration on emissions reduction?
- Have we identified potential risks and opportunities in our supply chain related to emissions?
2. Quantified: Measuring and Monitoring
Once the foundation is set, the next step is to quantify the impact and monitor progress. This phase is about metrics, measurements, and meaningful data:
- What is our supplier collaboration strategy for decarbonizing our supply chain?
- How do we measure the success and impact of our supplier collaboration initiatives?
- What percentage of our GHG emissions are actively managed, as reported in section 12a of our CDP Climate Disclosure?
- Which suppliers are leading in terms of emissions reduction, and how can we learn from or scale their efforts?
- Have we set clear emissions reduction targets for our suppliers?
- What percentage of our suppliers have made SBTi Net Zero Standard commitments?
- How many of our suppliers participate in CDP Climate Disclosures?
- Do we have a system in place to verify the emissions data provided by suppliers?
3. Confidence: Ensuring Reliability and Effectiveness
The final phase is about instilling confidence. It's not just about tracking and measuring but being sure of the data's accuracy and the strategies' effectiveness:
- How are we ensuring that our supplier collaboration programs are audit-ready?
- Are our suppliers' emissions reduction claims independently verified?
- How are we tracking and reporting on progress in supplier emissions reduction?
- Are we using any technological tools or platforms to quantify supplier emissions and ensure data accuracy?
- Have we identified and addressed any gaps or challenges in our supplier collaboration strategy?
- Are we actively engaging with suppliers to drive continuous improvement in emissions reduction?
- How are we incentivizing or recognizing suppliers who achieve significant emissions reductions?
In conclusion, addressing Scope 3 emissions is a collaborative effort that requires active engagement with suppliers. By asking the right questions, CEOs can drive their organizations towards meaningful action and ensure that they are on the right path to achieving their emissions reduction targets. I welcome any insights or feedback on this list, as the journey to sustainability is one we all share.
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