Scope 3 carbon emissions are emissions that do not come directly from a company or assets they own. Nonetheless, those emissions are still emissions. Emissions that fall under this category include emissions from the transportation of the good or how a consumer uses the product. With all this information, the SEC is still considering whether to include these emissions when considering the carbon neutrality of companies.
The problem when considering indirect emissions into regulations is that they are usually the largest and hardest to detect. How can a company find out how consumers use their product? It requires a lot of assumptions into calculating final numbers, many of which are wrong.
The IPCC report that outlines the impending danger of climate change urges immediate action. The SEC mentioned that many companies offer voluntary disclosures regarding scope 1 and 2 emissions. They have also discussed with companies how to disclose indirect emissions. There is still nothing concrete about how companies should disclose their emissions yet.
Scope 3 emissions account for around 65-95% of a company’s total carbon output. In turn, indirect emissions, therefore, have the most potential for reductions. But scope 3 emissions should be released and open if there is to be any reduction of emissions to keep companies accountable.