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Scope 3: how to report on emissions?


Scope 3 emissions reporting has become essential for measuring and mitigating the carbon impact of organizations' indirect activities.
This article explores the key steps involved in this reporting process, from defining the scope to identifying and quantifying emissions, to verifying the data. It also highlights the importance of reducing and offsetting emissions, as well as the regulatory and strategic issues associated with this process.
Mastering Scope 3 reporting enables companies to anticipate regulatory requirements, meet stakeholder expectations and become more resilient in their ecological transition.
Start your decarbonized future in good hands


In the current context, reporting on Scope 3 emissions has become essential to measure and mitigate the carbon impact of organizations' indirect activities. But how can companies effectively do this?
In this article, discover all the key steps to carry out this reporting and to know the challenges of it.

A man typing on his keyboard to create his Scope 3 emissions report

Scope 3: How to prepare your reporting?

Reporting Scope 3 emissions is a rigorous exercise that requires careful preparation, to ensure data accuracy and ensure that reporting accurately reflects an organization's carbon footprint.

As a first step, the scope of the analysis should be clearly defined, identifying which activities, operations and value chains are included in the reporting. In addition, it is necessary to determine the spatial and temporal boundaries of reporting.

Once the scope is clearly defined, the next step is to collect all the necessary data. This data can come from internal sources, from invoices or from specific management systems. It can also come from external sources such as the organization's partners, suppliers, and customers.

"Measuring Scope 3 emissions is not only a duty, but also an opportunity for companies to reinvent their carbon footprint."

A bulb that represents an opportunity to reinvent your carbon footprint

Key steps in Scope 3 emissions reporting

Identification of emission sources

The precise identification of emission sources is essential to create Scope 3 reporting. For this, a thorough understanding of the company's entire business is required.

Once all the activities have been analyzed, the next step is to classify them according to the specific categories of Scope 3. Scope 3 includes 15 distinct categories. This classification makes it possible to limit double entries and thus to have an accurate overview of Scope 3 emissions.

Quantification of emissions

Once the sources of emissions have been identified, these emissions need to be quantified. This step makes it possible to provide a quantified picture of the company's indirect emissions, and thus to assess the real impact on the environment.

In order to calculate Scope 3 emissions, organizations can rely on standardized emission factors. They make it possible to convert a quantity of activity into an equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions. These factors offer several advantages. They are based on extensive scientific research and therefore reflect the best estimate of the emissions generated by a given activity. In addition, by using these standardized emission factors, companies ensure that their reports are comparable to those of other organizations. Finally, adopting internationally recognized standards and emission factors enhances the credibility of the organization's reporting.

To quantify emissions, it is also possible to use specific software such as D-Carbonize. This type of tool automates the calculation process, benefits from regularly updated databases, and easily generates detailed reports.

Data Verification

Data verification helps ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information reported. This does not increase the company's credibility with its stakeholders, but also plays a fundamental role in implementing emission reduction measures.

To verify their data, organizations can hire an external body to audit Scope 3 data. This audit provides a neutral and objective perspective, ensuring that the audit is conducted without bias. Additionally, external auditors often have specific expertise that can help identify errors or inconsistencies that might be overlooked internally.

Reduction and compensation

Once emissions have been identified and quantified, the aim is to actively work towards reducing them and, where this is not possible, offsetting them. These two approaches, although distinct, are complementary and play a fundamental role in a company's carbon strategy.

Scope 3 emissions reporting helps identify opportunities to reduce emissions. By analyzing the data, organizations can identify areas of their value chain where reductions can be achieved. In addition, it allows them to raise awareness and train employees on the importance of reducing emissions and the actions they can take on a daily basis to achieve it.

The organization may also consider carbon offset projects. Carbon offsetting involves investing in projects that reduce, avoid, or capture greenhouse gas emissions, offsetting emissions that the company has failed to eliminate. However, it is essential for the organization to choose offset projects that are both credible and aligned with its values and goals. Thus, the company can participate in reforestation projects, renewable energy development or carbon capture and storage.

The different challenges of Scope 3 reporting

As mentioned earlier, Scope 3 reporting is crucial from a compliance perspective. Indeed, many regulations now require companies to carry out and publish a carbon assessment. This often includes Scope 3, which, although it involves indirect emissions, accounts for a significant portion of some companies' overall carbon footprint.

In addition, Scope 3 reporting can have strategic benefits for a company. Today, investors and consumers are looking for companies that comply with carbon reporting regulations, but also take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact. Transparent and comprehensive reporting of a company's Scope 3 can therefore confer the company a competitive advantage.

Scope 3 reporting, although demanding, is a fundamental step in the ecological transition of companies. It not only gives them a clear view of their indirect carbon footprint, but also the means to reduce it. By anticipating regulatory requirements and meeting stakeholder expectations, companies that master this reporting become more resilient. Take back control of your emissions and reduce them with our carbon accounting software.

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