California’s Carbon Cutting Course
January 24, 2023
With the growth in awareness around climate change, the supply chain industry is taking significant strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the crucial service of keeping our economy flowing. Many companies across all sectors, driven by altruism or differentiation, are incorporating ESG-focused improvements. In 2021, 73% of S&P 500 companies tied their executives’ compensation to ESG metrics. Governments are investigating additional ways to push organizations to decarbonize. One avenue that many regulators are exploring is requiring companies to publicly share their annual carbon emission data. Both California and the EU have already passed emission disclosure bills, and the SEC is expected to release U.S. wide regulations this Spring. With the transportation sector currently leading all business sectors in carbon emissions, ALC is developing low-carbon shipping programs to help our customers with their reduction and reporting goals.
To provide a very brief explanation of GHG (greenhouse gas) accounting, there are three “scopes” of emissions. Scope 1 and 2 cover direct (owned assets) and indirect (purchased utilities) emissions, which are largely controllable by reporting companies. Scope 3 includes more complex calculations from production to disposal, including all emissions associated with a manufacturer’s or retailer’s supply chain, a significant aspect of which is transportation. For example, if you were a car manufacturer, your scope 3 would include the emissions associated with the first metal being mined through the post consumer disposal and everything in between (excluding emissions captured in scope 1 and 2). The SEC regulation was originally proposed in 2022, but has been pushed back multiple times due to the difficulties associated with reporting scope 3 emissions. Due to the truckload market’s fractured nature, many shippers work with multiple transportation partners, further increasing the difficulty of consolidating this data.
So, now that I have made ESG seem scary, here’s the soothing part…In order to address environmental concerns, our company uses an EPA and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) based calculator which provides truckload emission data. In addition, we’re developing a ‘Green Carrier Base’, recruiting low-emission carriers for sustainable shipping needs who will have a reportable emission reduction when compared to traditional fleets. Investigations into alternative fuels, such as renewable diesel, compressed natural gas, and eventually electric charging, are also underway with the goal of setting up a fuel delivery program for interested carriers and shippers through our partner, one of the U.S.’s largest energy providers. We’re also partnering with a unique carbon offset company which prioritizes additionality and building local coalitions of small-businesses and community leaders to ensure long-term environmental and economic benefits. We all live together on the same planet, and reducing our carbon footprint should be important to us all. Reach out to me if you’d like to have a conversation.