Navigating the carbon footprint of transportation

by VesselBot’s Marketing Team

August 17, 2023
Navigating the carbon footprint of transportation. VesselBot helps you to measure Scope3 emissions

Carbon footprint has steadily claimed center stage in the fast-evolving landscape of sustainability and corporate responsibility. As businesses across the globe face legislative changes targeting corporate carbon emissions, addressing carbon footprint to curb the escalating environmental crisis has become non-negotiable.

Carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions

At its core, carbon footprint represents the amount of greenhouse gas, primarily carbon dioxide, emitted directly or indirectly by human activities. This quantifiable measure plays a pivotal role in understanding how individual and collective actions contribute to the global challenge of climate change.

The trifecta of calculating emissions: Scope 1, 2, and 3

In a corporate context, carbon footprint is typically classified into three distinct categories: Scope 1, 2, and 3.

  • Scope 1: These represent emissions that come directly from assets owned or overseen by an organization, such as the carbon footprint of company-owned vehicles or industrial furnaces.
  • Scope 2: These are indirect emissions generated from purchased electricity, heating, or cooling solutions consumed by a business entity’s facilities.
  • Scope 3: Scope 3 includes all indirect emissions related to a company’s activities. These cover everything from the creation process of products they buy to the use of items they sell. And notably, within this category, emissions from transportation, especially from ships, airplanes, and trucks, hold substantial weight.

Although Scope 3 emissions represent a significant aspect in this expansive field, they are usually overlooked and based on average emission conversion factors. Many companies will have to adapt, evolve, and, most importantly, comply with the new set of standards by 2025, and that’s why they need accurate and real-time data to calculate their carbon emissions effectively.

It is a necessary global strategy to foster a sustainable future. Although Scope 1 and 2 remain essential, achieving reductions in Scope 3 emissions is crucial for meaningful transformation. VesselBot focuses on Scope 3. This specialization allows us to help businesses accurately evaluate their carbon footprint, enabling more informative decision-making.

Learn more about GHG reporting New ESG legislation changes

New legislation changes: What it means?

A wave of new legislation targeting carbon emissions has been rolled out across various countries. This growing regulatory field is shaping companies’ operational decisions globally.

The European Union is implementing the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), mandating 50,000 publicly traded companies to include environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures in their annual reports starting in 2024.

At the same time, IOSCO has endorsed the ISSB Standards, aiming for consistent sustainability-related disclosures in global capital markets. IOSCO urges its 130 member jurisdictions, overseeing 95% of the world’s securities markets, to adopt these standards.

What are these changes’ implications and their impact on the corporate world?

  1. Carbon accountability: Companies are not just encouraged but, in many cases, mandated to provide ESG reporting focused on environmental aspects. This shift doesn’t merely spotlight direct emissions but substantially emphasizes a more holistic approach to a company’s environmental impact.
  2. Expansion of regulatory reach: The recent legislative changes expanded their scope. Even mid-sized enterprises and those in previously considered “low-impact” sectors are finding themselves under the regulatory lens.
  3. Financial implications: Companies can face substantial economic consequences if they don’t align with the newly legislated standards. On the other hand, businesses that proactively reduce their emissions can benefit from financial incentives and harness new market opportunities, positioning themselves as leaders in sustainable business practices.
  4. A shift in stakeholder expectations: An increasing number of investors prioritize environmental responsibility when making investment decisions. Similarly, consumers are becoming more eco-conscious, often supporting companies with a genuine commitment to sustainability.As Scope 3 emissions become a focal point of these changes, enterprises – especially those in the transportation sector – must be well-equipped to address these challenges.

After all, this new legislation isn’t just about compliance; it represents a ground-breaking change in how business is done. Companies are now tasked with integrating sustainability at the core of their strategy, operations, and reporting. Furthermore, numerous forward-thinking companies incorporate their carbon footprint reduction initiatives into their marketing plan, resonating with environmentally-conscious consumers.

As Scope 3 emissions become a focal point of these changes, enterprises – especially those in the transportation sector – must be well-equipped to address these challenges.

VesselBot: The Solution to the Scope 3 Challenge

Carbon footprint calculation: Strategic insights for the transportation industry

By their very nature, transportation and logistics companies operate at the heart of global supply chains, ensuring goods’ smooth and timely movement across vast distances. As facilitators of international trade, their operations intertwine with a complex web of emissions, most of which are part of Scope 3's framework for other companies that use their services.

These indirect emissions’ large size and complexity make Scope 1, 2, and 3 critical. Since transportation, primarily via trucks, ships, and airplanes, contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, enterprises in this sector play a crucial role in the broader efforts to reduce global carbon footprint.

Their position presents challenges due to the complexity of monitoring and decreasing these emissions. However, by embracing sustainable practices and technologies, they can significantly reduce both their own and their clients' Scope 3 emissions, serving as a model for other sectors and advancing global sustainability objectives.

VesselBot’s technology calculates your company’s carbon footprint and offers actionable insights, enabling businesses to make swift adjustments, optimize carriers' networks, or adopt sustainable alternatives, reducing their carbon footprint significantly. Real-time data is the key to proactive decision-making in dynamic sectors like transportation and logistics.

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VesselBot: The Solution to the Scope 3 Challenge

Our top-notch GHG Emissions Monitoring System is designed with remarkable precision. Recognizing that an accurate measure of your carbon footprint is the foundation for effective reduction strategies, we invested in the accuracy of our data (~92%). Whether it’s emissions from vessels, airplanes, rail, or trucks, we use a combination of primary and modeled data , allowing organizations to gain detailed insights into their carbon footprint.

Relying on average emission conversion factors instead of accurate and real-time data can have substantial economic implications for businesses. Inaccurate assessments from such generic data may overstate a company’s emissions, misrepresenting its environmental impact.

This overestimation can lead to unforeseen costs, especially if regulatory fines or carbon taxes are based on these figures. For enterprises aiming to maintain fiscal responsibility and corporate transparency, precise and tailored calculations are vital to ensure that the emission score reflects the company’s actual carbon footprint.

On the other hand, utilizing average emission conversion factors that provide false data (lower than the actual ones) can expose your organization to allegations of greenwashing. Inaccurate claims about a company’s environmental stance can be as detrimental as the implications of greenhushing. Enterprises must ensure transparency and accuracy in their environmental reporting to maintain their credibility and trust.

The importance of recognizing your carbon footprint

The importance of recognizing your carbon footprint

Beyond corporate responsibility, understanding and acting upon your carbon footprint is a global imperative. With the extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and all the climate change challenges, recognizing our contribution is the first step in dealing with these adversities.

As we collectively move towards a greener tomorrow, making sustainable decisions becomes a priority. Remember, every step taken to reduce your carbon footprint today paves the way for a more resilient future for all.

With VesselBot, companies can be confident in calculating their carbon footprint right and work effectively towards compliance with ESG regulations. Our deep knowledge of transportation, technology, and applied science ensures we provide solutions that are not only data-driven but also tailor-made to fit each organization’s unique needs.

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