In order for global warming to be limited to 1.5 degrees, global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030, starting at 2020 and reaching net emissions of zero by 2050. This means that work on emission reductions must accelerate dramatically. Among other things, companies and public procurers should set clearer requirements for their suppliers. The supplier companies must in turn be ready to switch to climate-smart processes and renewable energy. It requires a readiness and a climate leadership at the supplier level that is lacking today in many small and medium-sized producers of clothing, gadgets, food, electronics, household utensils, building materials and other products.
The Carbon Law intends for a halving of global emissions of greenhouse gases each decade. Scope 3 is the key to the radical climate footprint reduction that is needed.
The role of consumption
In the anthropocene period, i.e. the age of man, the production of food and products has led to emissions, waste, over-exploitation of natural resources and a severe impact on the climate. Three-fifths of Sweden’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from households’ consumption, the remaining two-fifths come from public consumption and investment. Public consumption consists of the goods and services that, for example, schools, hospitals and authorities procure. Investments are emissions linked to the purchase of buildings, machinery, objects and inventory investments.
Emissions are classified into the categories of scope 1, 2 and 3, according to the GHG protocol — the international standard for governments, companies and organizations. 65-95% of the total corporate emissions come from scope 3 sources, upstreams and downstreams.
Scope 1, 2 och 3
- Scope 1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions that a business has control over, e.g. greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and machines that the business owns or leases.
- Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity, such as electricity production, district heating and cooling.
- Scope 3: Indirect greenhouse gas emissions that occur outside the boundaries of the business. The emissions are often divided into so-called upstream and downstream emissions, depending on whether they occur before or after a company’s own operations in the value chain. Examples of upstream emissions are material consumption, business travel or production of equipment. Examples of downstream emissions are processing, usage and final handling of sold products. The majority of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions are within scope 3.
To accelerate the emission reductions at the supplier level, Axfoundation has, in collaboration with Axfood, Kicks, Martin & Servera and Swedish Trade Federation developed an online climate education tool for supplier companies. It was launched in June 2022 and is accessible by a simple click. The project is based on a number of lessons learned from a feasibility study carried out in 2021 which showed that open, generic climate courses was not available on the market. The study also pointed at a great variation of competence and climate leadership at supplier level, particularly in Asia. Many were not aware that buying brands plan to phase out fossil-based suppliers by 2030 while others claimed they do not have any greenhouse gas emissions at all. Simultaneously there are big supplying companies in the forefront collaborating closely with their customers to systematically phase out fossil fuel and fossil-based energy. Our effort became a generic education that works for small and large suppliers in different industries and countries. The tool is aimed at suppliers but is also suitable for purchasing companies and public procurers to distribute to their suppliers in connection with demands for active climate work and measurable emission reductions.
Together we develop digital climate support for companies and their suppliers.
The online cross-industry Climate tool is based on Science based targets and aims to halve greenhouse gas emissions every decade, starting at 2020 and reaching net emissions of zero by 2050. The tool primarily aims to inform, motivate and train suppliers in line with the 1.5-degree goal, 1.5 Business Playbook and Science Based Targets. The training content is generic and works for companies within the textile, food, non-food and industrial sectors. It is aimed at small and medium-sized companies in all tiers, who are in the beginning of their climate journey. Inside the tool there is an interactive questionnaire which results in a Report and a practical to do-list. Also to be found is good business cases, definitions and references to standards, guidelines and initiatives. The user can invite sub suppliers or colleagues to the training by a simple click. All data stays with the user.
The close collaboration with the Exponential Roadmap Initiative creates proximity to the UN Race to Zero, SME Climate Hub and 1.5 Supply Chain Leaders, which bring together practitioners, experts and methods based on the latest science.
“We want to motivate and empower suppliers in order to set climate targets in line with science, and take action. To further accelerate emission reductions, the tool is open for everyone to use.” – Viveka Risberg, Program Manager Sustainable Production and Consumption, Axfoundation.
The project has been initiated and led by Axfoundation with support from Exponential Roadmap Initiative. In the project group: Axfood, Kicks, Martin & Servera and the Swedish Trade Federation. The Climate education tool is produced by Impact OS by AskKauko, Finnish tech company specialized in visualizing sustainability communication.