Boston Consulting Group
Explained byBoston Consulting Group

Address emissions across your supply chain

Understanding the importance of Scope 3 emissions

The supply chains of just eight industries are responsible for more than 50% of global emissions: food, construction, fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, automotive, professional services, and freight (see Figure 6 below).

Figure 6: Eight supply chains are responsible for more than 50 percent of global emissions. Sources: WEF; BCG.

Depending on your industry, Scope 3 emissions can have different profiles. For example, while most Scope 3 emissions in agricultural commodities and chemicals come from (1) purchased goods and services, emissions from (11) use of sold products accounts for most Scope 3 emissions in the oil and gas and transport sectors (see Figure 7 for more detail on industry specifics).

Figure 7: Scope 3 categories representation by industry. Sources: CDP questionnaire 2023; BCG analysis.

Key stakeholders to engage

To address all Scope 3 categories, you will need to engage with different internal and external stakeholders. See Figure 8 below for a brief overview of the key stakeholder groups to engage and work closely with to reduce different Scope 3 emissions categories.

Figure 8: Essential emitting stakeholders relevant to Scope 3 GHG emissions categories. Source: BCG.

Additionally, your Scope 3 emissions are influenced to varying degrees by different internal teams that can inform and drive decarbonization, such as research and development, business units, procurement, sales and marketing, operations, etc. To ensure effective and accelerated decarbonization, it is critical to collaborate closely among these teams and actively break down silos. Figure 9 is an illustrative, but not atypical, depiction of which Scope 3 categories are likely to be influenced by which internal teams, and to what degree, in terms of the design and implementation of the sustainability approaches. Similarly, the levels of likely influence of external stakeholders on these categories are also depicted.

Figure 9: Stakeholder influence for Scope 3 categories. Source: BCG.