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Addressing value chain emissions

 

Gold Standard consensus-driven guidance, tools and resources help companies tackle their climate impact up and down their value chains, creating value for their business, their partners and our global society.

Value chain or “Scope 3” emissions are often the largest source of corporate carbon footprints, yet to date they have been the lowest area of focus for most companies. Many have not yet taken direct action due a number of barriers, ranging from:

  1. Uncertainty about who is responsible for these indirect emissions
  2. Limited access to supplier emissions data
  3. Lack of guidance on how to account for reductions from investments in supply chains
  4. Inadequate recognition thereby reduced incentives to invest in meaningful change beyond direct operations

This programme features practical tools that remove these barriers to addressing value chain emissions.

VALUE CHAIN INTERVENTION LEVEL RECOGNITION BY ACCOUNTING PROTOCOLS
 

Often, the most meaningful change can come from interventions that help partners upstream and downstream reduce emissions. Yet emission reductions at the intervention level previously could not be accounted for in the leading GHG accounting frameworks, like the GHG Protocol. Thus, companies have not been recognised for these emission reductions in their corporate footprint, limiting the incentive to invest in these projects and programmes.

Value Chain Interventions Guidance enables reporting on emissions reductions toward performance targets, in line with common accounting frameworks like the GHG Protocol. 

 

December 2019:  To provide greater clarity and further options, Gold Standard has developed two update addendums to the guidance, covering 'Supply Shed^and ‘Accounting'. These concepts will remain under review until fully accepted and approved by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Questions and comments should be addressed to platform@goldstandard.org accordingly. 

>> VALUECHANGE - REDEFINING SUPPLY SHED

>> OPTIONS FOR ACCOUNTING OF INTERVENTION EMISSIONS FACTORS

 

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1. INTERVENTIONS GUIDANCE WORKING GROUP
 

This group co-founded the programme, developing guidance that ensures value chain interventions are recognized and included in reporting towards performance targets.

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2. AGRICULTURE WORKING GROUP
 

Focusing on corporates with significant scope 3 emissions within the agricultural sector, this working group further tested the applicability of the new Value Chain interventions guidance. For a summary of progress, challenges and recommended next steps read the Value Change Programme Interim Report>>

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3. TEXTILES WORKING GROUP
 

Leading apparel companies with significant scope 3 commitments, will continue testing the guidance in the context of the textiles industry.

Future working groups under consideration include:

  • Finance
  • IT
  • Transport
  • Pulp & paper

Levi Strauss, Nike, Target, VF Corporation and C&A

We launched a pilot certification process for value chain projects and programmes initiated by companies aiming to include the quantified impacts towards their corporate scope 3 inventories. Piloting involves a recognition that there may be some changes to approaches, requirements and assessment to accommodate first movers and develop an understanding of new areas of application of Gold Standard.

Outputs
  • Pilot projects can reach Pilot Design and Performance Certification, depending on level of progress of the project assessed. This means that SustainCERT considers that the project is in line with Gold Standard for the Global Goals and relevant sections of the Value Chain Interventions Guidance while recognising that there may be certain departures from normal requirements and processes, as noted above.
  • The lessons learned from piloting will directly influence both the Guidance and Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

 

The scope of pilot certification is limited, as described in the Terms of Reference to the boundary of the targeted intervention. This means that the assessment will consider the actions and activities undertaken directly as part of the intervention, including how the Gold Standard principles of safeguarding, inclusivity and sustainable development relate to the specific interventions rather than to broader company efforts.   

CASE STUDIES

 

ValueChange case study: Mars' soil-smart wheat chain

Mars, Gold Standard and Sustainable Food Lab are helping Australian farmers measure and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from wheat. Read this case study to find out how this initiative has improved soil health, created greater resilience to weather shocks, produced higher yields and reduced net GHG emissions.

(View the Case study by clicking on the image below)

Carbon Counts for a Soil-Smart Wheat Supply Chain in Australia

Following certification, the details of pilot interventions will be published to the Gold Standard Impact Registry.

HOW TO PRIORITISE OPPORTUNITIES AND REDUCE VALUE CHAIN EMISSIONS

Value Change in the Value Chain: Best Practices in Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Management outlines the various levers for reducing value chain emissions — business model innovation, supplier engagement, procurement policy and choices, product and service design, customer engagement, and investment strategies. It helps companies navigate these to set the most effective strategies for their own business.



SECTOR-SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Focusing first on the Food & Beverage sector, Danone, Gold Standard, Livelihoods Funds, Mars, TREES Consulting and Unique forestry and land use GmbH drafted Soil Carbon Guidance  to demonstrate how to quantify carbon sequestered in soil, a severely neglected source of carbon sinks and a linchpin in farmer productivity.

Note that we plan to develop further guidance for priority sectors, including sustainable apparel, chemicals, electronics and transport. Please contact us to register interest in participating in working groups.

 

Get involved

For any questions about the programme, existing or future working groups, or the pilot programme, please send an email to platform@goldstandard.org