Climate change is an unavoidable reality. For decades, scientists and activists have tried to shed light on this global crisis, and those efforts are finally taking hold. Consumers are increasingly demanding transparency when it comes to sustainable business practices.

Many businesses have made promises to become more sustainable or improve their carbon emissions, but empty promises will no longer cut it. Purchasing carbon credits for offsetting carbon emissions is the most unsustainable way to reach sustainability goals. Businesses need to align strategies with governmental carbon and climate neutrality regulations and meet investor expectations.

We do see some leading brands like IKEA, BASF and Mahindra take a proactive approach to drastically reduce their emissions. They have identified clear decarbonization strategies and set specific emission reduction targets and deadlines. But in most cases, these declarations vary widely in scope and definitions of their net-zero targets.

Scope 3 Challenges: CO2 Data Uncertainty Equals Financial Uncertainty

The transformation toward a low-carbon economy and net zero is challenging, especially when there is a lack of reliable emissions data. With net-zero emissions commitments becoming more important and regulated than ever, accuracy is of utmost importance.

Along with the differing decarbonization concepts and approaches, there is also an unwillingness of suppliers to provide their specific product carbon footprints. Not to mention a lack of internal commitment within an organization that adds to the challenges, leading to scarce and inconsistent data.

According to Green House Gas Protocol, there are 15 categories that Scope 3 emissions can fall into, including capital goods, business travel, and use of sold products. Scope 3 considers indirect emissions not owned by the reporting company but that affect the value chain.

Initial Scope 3 Screening

  • Identification of relevant scope 3 categories.
  • Initial emissions screening along the value chain.
  • Definition of potential hotspots that require more detailed analysis.


Scope 3 Quantification

  • Based on primary industry emissions data from Sphera’s Scope 3 Database.
  • Calculation of scope 3 Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF).
  • Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) portfolio overview.
  • Data collection for energy consumption, number of products per period and site, purchased parts.


Scope 3 Automation

  • Automated generation of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) or PCFs for the entire product portfolio.
  • Detailed identification of the emissions sources.
  • Mapping of PCFs against climate goals.
  • Dashboard for portfolio analysis and identification of hotspot products.
  • Progress tracking against emission reduction goals, assessing distance to net-zero emissions target.


The need of the hour is a robust database, offering real-time data that will allow investors to measure their exposure to Scope 3 emissions. A detailed and powerful tool will provide an estimation model to help fill in the gaps in carbon-emission reporting and provide better transparency of carbon-transition risks that lie across the portfolios for investors.

Powerful Product Sustainability Data: Key to Accurate Scope 3 Emissions Reporting

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool that can help identify hot spots in your supply chain while assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Scope 3. It provides a baseline, gives insights into scope 3 emissions and helps facilitate a strategy for emissions reductions.

However, when it comes to LCA, not all content is created equally. Inaccuracies in the data can lead to inaccurate reporting. This in turn may lead to fines from regulatory bodies and breaching trust of consumers. Having reliable, accurate, and current data is a must for LCA data for Scope 3, preferably from one consistent LCA database.

You need frequently updated datasets, based on information and knowhow from their particular industry and region, that are designed for compliance with multiple LCA standards and norms.

No matter where your organization is in its decarbonization journey, quality data is important. Sphera Product Sustainability (GaBi) databases are largely built on high-quality, primary industry data.

With over 15,000 annually updated datasets packaged in some 20 topical databases, Sphera’s data will help you understand your Scope 3 emissions. We provide a reliable foundation for lifecycle-based and strategic technology decisions. Sphera also offers fast and competent data-on-demand services to provide you with precisely the data you need when you need it.

Top Benefits of Our Value Chain (Scope 3) Carbon Accounting Services

Simplify your data collection efforts by identifying scope 3 categories relevant to your business.

Get valuable insights into your company’s value chain by quantifying scope 3 with reliable industry-based emissions data.

Enhance your brand by developing your greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and having the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) verify them.

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