A new study from Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services has found that most major firms are yet to set science-based targets for Scope 3 emissions in the supply chain.
The supply chain decarbonisation report, called The missing link to net zero, finds that 84% of major organisations are failing in this.
TCS and Microsoft analysed 400 randomly selected public companies, accounting for revenues of US$10 trillion.
They found that of these organisations, just 51% are participating in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which comprises global sustainability leaders.
Further, only 52% have publicised climate action to date, while a paltry 16% have publicly set science-based targets for operational carbon emissions. Even fewer (11%) have committed science-based targeting for carbon reduction in supply chains.
Science-based targeting is crucial, because it is this that enable transparent sharing, and actions leading to global adoption of sustainability measures, as companies are able to view one another’s experiences on this front and adjust plans accordingly.
Science-based targeting also allows for technological advances to be recorded and shared, and this creates a pressure to evolve and adapt.
Tech 'vital' for firms looking to cut Scope 3 emissions
The study concludes that new technology and analytics expertise “is becoming vital for firms looking to adapt and reduce supply chain emissions in a transparent and scientific way”.
Globally, the report says that Europe – and the UK in particular – are setting the pace on new standard for supply chain sustainability, with APAC countries and the US trailing.
The report concludes: “The good news is 100 companies worldwide have pledged 100% use of renewables, but making such a pledge is one thing – finding ways to measure, track, and implement it is entirely another.”
The report goes on to say that such pledges mean tracking data on the deforestation impact of ingredients such as soya, palm, cocoa, and coffee, which many consumer goods and retail businesses use in their food and personal care products.
“To evaluate how effectively enterprises are managing their sustainability imperatives, TCS and Microsoft worked together to research and analyse publicly available data.
We found that irrespective of size and revenue, enterprises are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability.
However, they are struggling to measure the true value of decarbonisation efforts in their supply chains.”