Streamlining Scope 1, 2, and 3 Reporting: Tools & Solutions -

25 July 2023

Streamlining Scope 1, 2, and 3 Reporting: Tools & Solutions

Collecting and aggregating data. Choosing which reporting methodologies and frameworks to follow. Engaging suppliers and partners. Managing the complexity of emissions across the value chain… There’s no shortage of challenges facing sustainability professionals when it comes to Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting.

Fortunately, tools and solutions exist that can streamline your reporting processes, improve your data accuracy, and enable you to manage your company’s greenhouse gas emissions in a proactive way. Some are existing tools that have been updated or repurposed to meet Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting demands. Others represent new advancements in technology.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these solutions now.

1. Carbon management software 

Carbon management software is a technology companies use to track, manage, and report their Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is designed to help you reduce your emissions footprint, increase corporate sustainability, and meet voluntary and mandatory disclosure standards efficiently.

Carbon management software starts by collecting emissions data from a variety of sources, such as utility bills, meters, CEMs, and so on. The software organizes this information into powerful dashboards and visualizations to give you immediate visibility of your progress.

In addition to collecting and organizing emissions data, carbon management software can perform complex calculations across scope 1, 2, and 3.  Carbon management software lets you store all of your emissions formulas in a searchable library and update them with a single click.

Carbon management software is sometimes integrated with EHS/ESG software. It can also connect to other tools like ERP and financial systems. This information then flows both ways and gives you a complete picture of your sustainability performance.

2. IoT-based environmental monitoring

Another category of solution that can make Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting easier is the Internet of Things (IoT) — and more specifically, the use of environmental sensors.

IoT devices are physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and WiFi capabilities that enable them to collect and exchange data over the internet. In contrast to paper-based data collection processes, IoT devices help companies capture emissions data continuously, accurately, and efficiently.

Continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) that measure air pollutants from stationary sources are one familiar example of IoT-based environmental monitoring. Some other examples include:

  • Smart energy meters that monitor electricity and gas consumption for Scope 1 and 2 reporting
  • Emission sensors placed on vehicles and industrial equipment
  • Leak detection systems that can identify unintended or fugitive emissions in chemical, oil, and natural gas operations
  • Smart building systems, such as HVAC and lighting systems, that aid in reducing energy usage and managing Scope 1 and 2 emissions
  • Tracking devices that can be attached to product packaging to monitor emissions associated with transportation for Scope 3 calculations

IoT environmental sensors work especially well with carbon management software to capture data at the source and provide real-time insight into your sustainability performance. Once connected, you can also use the information from IoT devices to trigger alerts and corrective actions. This can drive more efficient emissions reduction strategies.

3. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

With all the buzz about AI and machine learning, it’s no surprise to see companies experimenting with its use in Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting. And for good reason: AI can provide valuable assistance in streamlining reporting processes and improving data quality. How so?

For starters, AI algorithms can automate data collection from various sources, including IoT devices, existing data systems, and publicly available emissions data. This greatly reduces the friction of gathering emissions data across scopes.

From there, AI can perform countless functions like analyzing and validating data, calculating emissions, and benchmarking performance. It can even help identify key insights and craft text for sustainability reports based on that information.

4. Collaborative platforms and networks for sharing best practices and data

If your company is reporting on Scope 3 emissions, it’s probably a bit of a struggle to collect and measure this information accurately. Besides tracking down data from your suppliers and third-party sources, you then have to try and align the information in a standardized format and account for variation in calculation and reporting methodologies.

Luckily, you’re not alone in that struggle. More and more resources are popping up that provide opportunities to learn from industry peers, share best practices, and work together toward your collective emissions reduction goals. These include:

These collaborative platforms and networks serve as valuable resources for companies seeking to improve their understanding and management of scope 3 emissions. Some — particularly sector-specific initiatives — may also help facilitate benchmarking and comparison with industry peers.

Embracing Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting tools & solutions

Navigating Scope 1, 2, and 3 reporting is a complex and challenging task. The good news is that there are tools and solutions available that can alleviate headaches and improve the reporting process. Among them, carbon management software, IoT-based environmental monitoring, AI and ML, and collaborative platforms and networks are a few of the options available. Embracing these tools is critical for organizations committed to driving sustainability and achieving regulatory compliance.