VALUE CHANGE PROGRAMME
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:
- Uncertainty about who is responsible for these indirect emissions
- Limited access to supplier emissions data
- Lack of guidance on how to account for reductions from investments in supply chains
- 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 activities sponsored by sustainable business
In addition to purchasing high-impact carbon credits, companies use Gold Standard guidance and calculation tools to reduce emissions in their value chains and report on these outcomes toward their Science Based Targets or Net Zero climate goals.
Value Chain Guidance
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 email@example.com accordingly.
Expert working groups
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.
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>>
3. TEXTILES WORKING GROUP
Leading apparel companies with significant scope 3 commitments, will continue testing the guidance in the context of the textiles industry. Initial working group members include Levi Strauss, Nike, Target, VF Corporation and C&A.
Future working groups under consideration include:
- Pulp & paper
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.
- 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.
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.
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.