Implement climate-neutral best practices across three carbon emission categories to decarbonize the value chain.
Companies are committed to cut emissions to net zero by 2050. They have pledged to lower their carbon footprint, moderate energy consumption and carry out more circular practices by setting science-based targets1. These companies are racing toward climate neutrality, where their activities have no net effect on the environment.
Climate neutrality is important for companies because it decarbonizes operations and abates total greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. Although the precise steps to emission reduction can sometimes be complex, a flexible and adaptive approach powered by digitalization promises to help companies succeed with sustainability initiatives.
Set climate-neutral efforts in motion to mitigate carbon emissions and accelerate to net zero.
A company’s carbon footprint is categorized across three scopes:
Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the company, such as on-site generation and vehicle fuel consumption.
Indirect emissions from purchased electricity, heat, steam or cooling.
All other indirect emissions that occur in the value chain, such as the use of sold products and services.
Greenhouse gas inventories from scopes 1 and 2 are often the focus of science-based targets as they fall within company control. For example, companies can access their energy-consumption data, including direct gas and electricity purchases. Knowing where and how to limit energy-related carbon emissions allows them to explore renewable energy sources, vehicle fleet electrification or improvements in a building’s heating, ventilation and cooling system.
With digitalization on the right platform, companies can put decarbonization targets at their core. Virtual twin technology offers a digital environment to innovate more sustainable ideas or designs that can slash emissions in carbon-intensive industries such as steel manufacturing and aviation operations. Combined with lifecycle assessment, companies gain complete visibility over operational emissions to minimize carbon footprint and reduce energy use.
Integrating lifecycle assessment with virtual twin technology opens new possibilities to address environmental impacts very early on. It enables companies to put multi-criteria environmental assessments — such as carbon emissions, water or resource scarcity — at the heart of product design from the earliest stages.
Lifecycle assessment on a collaborative platform, such as the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, makes standardized environmental data accessible to all. Since information is easily shared across the upstream and downstream value chain, companies can optimize their carbon-neutral efforts throughout the entire value network. This helps them implement emissions reduction within and beyond their own operations.
Scope 3 emissions represent the largest portion of a company’s greenhouse gas inventory. Hence, it’s crucial for companies to take responsibility and aim for carbon neutrality throughout the value chain. Although they may have less control over suppliers, distributors and customers, scope 3 emissions offer a unique opportunity to decrease the carbon footprint collaboratively.
Scope 3 inventory accounts for most of a company's emissions2:
the average of value chain emissions compared to operational emissions
reported their scope 3 emissions from purchased goods & services in 2021
aren’t engaging with suppliers on climate change
are putting climate transition plans in motion
Sustainability initiatives on multiple fronts can create a positive loop: If each company actively abates emissions in its value chain, it can also benefit from the efforts of other companies. A significant emissions reduction lever in scope 3 is the design of products and services. Designing for disassembly enables companies to extract the most value from a product’s resources and lower its lifecycle emissions intensity. By enhancing product durability, they can keep materials and components in use. The results are seamless product recirculation, waste reduction and more circular practices.
It’s time to make meaningful progress toward climate neutrality. Leveraging new technologies will improve a company’s environmental footprint and nurture greener growth, with a win-win outcome benefiting not only the planet but also the bottom line.
1Source: “Science-based Targets” by Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
2Source: “Global Supply Chain Report 2021” by CDP (February 2022)
Dassault Systèmes provides business and people with 3DEXPERIENCE universes to imagine sustainable innovations capable of harmonizing product, nature and life.
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