More businesses and industries are stepping up their efforts on sustainability for a variety of reasons, and the hospitality industry has made great strides on the operations side. However, your Purchased Good and Services (PG&S) and the supply chain that delivers them are critical to meeting overall climate goals.
At Avendra, we pride ourselves on the great strides we take in keeping our customers informed about trends, regulations, and best practices. Today we’re looking at the basics of climate change and particularly Scope 3 emissions.
What are greenhouse gases (GHG)? In a recent Avendra webinar, Katharine Gross from WSP USA explained that GHGs trap heat from the sun and warm the planet’s surface. One of the primary sources of GHG emissions is fossil fuels burned for electricity, heat, and transportation. Food production is another major source of GHG emissions, from land conversion, livestock related emissions and other production activities.
Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Examples include emissions from a company-owned vehicle or combustion from your company’s furnace.
Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy – these are the emissions resulting from producing the electricity used by your company. Indirect emissions result from an organization’s activities but the sources of the emissions are owned or controlled by another company.
Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of your company, including both upstream and downstream emissions. Examples of Scope 3 emissions include: vendor emissions, business travel, and the use of sold products.
Scope 3 includes the category of Purchased Goods and Services – the emissions resulting from all the products and services your company procures. As a procurement services provider, this is the area where Avendra can provide great insight and resources to our customers.
Source: Anthesis Group
What are Science-Based Targets (SBTs)? Many organizations are using Science-Based Targets (SBTs) to guide their sustainability journey. According to Jeffrey Irvine, also from WSP USA, science-based targets are those goals (or targets) that are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Those goals are to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius. Ultimately, the goal of SBTs is to reach “net zero” at a global level.
How do you define “net zero”? The desired state of net zero is a state in which anthropogenic (man-made) emissions of GHGs to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals. Net zero is necessary to stop the accumulation of GHG in the atmosphere.
Is there a difference between “net zero” and “carbon neutral”? Carbon neutral means a company has balanced emissions with compensatory offset credits. Carbon neutrality doesn’t require any reductions in emissions.
Net zero requires aggressive reductions in emissions and balancing remaining emissions with carbon removals.
Hamzah Abu-Ragheb, Sustainable Sourcing Director, Aramark and Avendra Group, also participated in the climate change webinar and shared how Avendra can help customers with Scope 3 emissions goals. Purchased Goods and Services are within our sphere of influence.
Supply chain emissions are 11.4 times higher than operational emissions, according to the CDP Global Supply Chain Report 2020. Avendra’s research and data from some of our customers also indicate that Purchased Goods and Services are many times the largest emissions category for a foodservice/hospitality company, making it a very important category to consider when establishing an overall climate action strategy.
Avendra is working on multiple fronts to support our customers on their sustainable journey. We have several systems in place to ensure our suppliers are working on their own climate action strategy including Scopes 1, 2 and 3.
We engage with suppliers through a close review of their policies and practices aimed at climate action when we’re at the point of engagement with them. We’ve launched a program with EcoVadis to assess supplier performance regarding sustainability overall with a focus on climate change and carbon emissions.
Avendra provides detailed reporting for our customers. We can provide our customers with reporting about our supplier partners and how they are approaching sustainability.
Another important piece is helping customers navigate the actual emissions at the PG&S level (part of Scope 3). We are currently working on a report for customers to show emissions resulting from their food and beverage purchases. This will allow us to support them in identifying ways to reduce Scope 3 (PG&S) emissions.