In its fight against climate change, the international community is increasingly using technology to calculate carbon footprints more accurately, and the chemical sector is no exception.
In this pursuit, and building on the launch of the PCF Guideline, Together for Sustainability (TfS) is piloting a product carbon footprint (PCF) data-sharing solution using Siemens SiGREEN technology. TfS’ data-sharing solution enables large chemical companies and their suppliers to securely exchange carbon footprint data for each product, ushering in a new era of transparency and accuracy in emissions reporting.
The PCF data-sharing solution will help TfS members transition from secondary to primary data on a large scale, enhancing the precision of emissions data for more accurate reporting and target setting. The solution enables users to quantify emissions as they occur at the production level and aggregates them along the supply chain, resulting in a dynamic PCF that will help companies make informed, data-driven decisions.
Data solution to the Scope 3 problem
For the chemical industry, addressing Scope 3 emissions by significantly lowering emissions across the supply chain is imperative to achieving climate goals.
Chemical companies can now request emissions information from suppliers regarding materials they purchase, specifically focusing on the product carbon footprint calculated using the PCF Guideline. This information, combined with a company’s own value creation process, allows for the determination of carbon footprints for sold goods. Whilst the data will be wholly owned by the suppliers, the data-sharing solution will enable them to share it at scale, enhancing efficiencies and promoting synergy between TfS’ members and their suppliers.
Embedding PCFs for purchased materials in GHG accounting for products is a vital step towards enhancing data accuracy and demonstrating achieved emission reductions by suppliers. The PCF data-sharing solution facilitates this much-needed evolution in data quality, bringing about positive change at scale. Looking ahead, TfS envisions a future where chemical companies can effortlessly compare emissions from various suppliers, armed with the knowledge and transparency necessary to choose environmentally sustainable alternatives.
Figure: TfS PCF data-sharing solution using Siemens’ SiGREEN technology
Concerns about data ownership, visibility and confidentiality are common in any information-sharing platform, which is why TfS, in collaboration with Siemens, has taken steps to address these concerns.
- Data ownership: The information shared through the IT solution is owned by the users who enter the PCF data (suppliers). TfS members (customers) only have access to data shared by suppliers, ensuring data ownership remains with the original contributors. The data is not owned by, or identifiable by, TfS or shared publicly, and there are no default sharing options.
- Data visibility: Suppliers retain control over who sees the data, sharing it directly only with TfS members they define as purchasers. Data analytics usage of the platform is accessible to TfS for improvement, but specific product data provided by suppliers remains confidential.
- Data retention: The data stored in the system is accessible only to defined TfS members, used for calculating PCFs of purchased products and materials. The data will not be shared with TfS or all TfS members unless the supplier chooses to do so.
Guillaume Piet, Head of Procurement Excellence at Givaudan and Co-Chair of TfS Scope 3 GHG emissions programme, said, “Following the launch of the PCF Guideline, TfS is continuing its mission to equip the chemical sector with the tools it needs to achieve its decarbonisation goals, and TfS’ PCF data-sharing solution is the necessary next step. The aim of the data-sharing solution is to enable chemical suppliers to share comparable PCF data at scale, creating efficiencies within companies’ reporting processes and driving the sector forward to achieve our shared goals.”
Dr Gunter Beitinger, Senior VP Manufacturing, Factory Digitalisation & SiGREEN from Siemens, said, “To effectively decarbonise, companies need data. But sharing data can raise concerns over safeguarding and security. SiGREEN gives companies a reliable and trustworthy platform to exchange dynamic PCFs, ensuring accuracy and security throughout the entire process. When using the TfS data-sharing solution, suppliers retain full control of their data due to the trustworthy supply chain exchange (TSX), which protects sensitive information. We are proud of our collaboration with TfS to ensure the platform addresses the needs of the chemical sector and believe this can be used as a blueprint for other sectors on their decarbonisation journey. “
Petra Lehmann, Global Procurement Sustainability & Risk Manager at AkzoNobel, said, “The TfS PCF data-sharing solution offers distinct benefits for suppliers. In accordance with the TfS principle, suppliers will only have to develop one PCF and can decide to reshare the PCF data multiple times. That is a big win for suppliers and customers.”
TfS’ PCF data-sharing solution is a crucial step towards achieving a more sustainable future for the chemical sector. By providing transparency, accuracy and control over emissions data, this platform will support TfS members and their suppliers on their journey to decarbonisation. TfS is currently running a pilot of the TfS PCF sharing solution, and if successful, the data-sharing solution will be rolled out to TfS members and suppliers in 2024.
For further information or inquiries about the TfS Scope 3 GHG emissions programme, please visit the TfS website.