Every business is trying to find ways to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions, and that includes your customers and your suppliers. The corporate value chain links companies together, and if a company wants to truly reduce its carbon footprint, that means it must consider not only its own direct greenhouse gas emissions, but also how to reduce the emissions from its upstream and downstream positions.
Transitioning corporate vehicle fleets from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) is a concrete step toward reducing emissions and helping every company in a given value chain, along with providing EV charging for your employees. Here’s what you need to know about how to use EV charging to reduce your company’s direct and indirect emissions.
What Are the Three Types of Greenhouse Gas Emission Sources?
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol has identified three different categories of corporate greenhouse gas emissions throughout the value chain. With the Scope 3 Standard, companies can now measure and report upstream and downstream emissions, not just those directly controlled by corporate activities. This standard allows improves transparency and allows companies to develop more effective strategies for emissions reductions. Here is how the GHG Protocol describes the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard.
Scope 1 Emissions
Scope 1 emissions are generated by operations that are directly owned or controlled by the company. These emissions might include company-owned equipment or company-owned fleet vehicles.
Scope 2 Emissions
Scope 2 emissions include upstream emissions from generating electricity bought by the company. An example would be if a company uses electricity from a coal-burning power plant. The company would be indirectly responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions produced from the power it uses.
Scope 3 Emissions
Scope 3 emissions present the greatest opportunity for companies and organizations and represent all indirect emissions that are not included in Scope 2. These emissions are neither produced by the company itself nor the result of activities from assets owned or controlled by the company. Upstream emissions may be related to goods and services acquired by the company, and downstream emissions may be related to goods and services sold to a customer.
Scope 3 emissions include any products and services that a company buys, uses and disposes of from suppliers. As an example, if your company purchases pallets from another company, your company is indirectly responsible for the emissions produced during the creation and shipping process of the pallets. Other examples include business travel, employee commutes, leased assets, and transportation of your products via a third-party to your customer.
How EVs and EV charging can help reduce Scope 3 emissions
Scope 1 emissions are easiest to define because they are directly within your business’s control. When you use EVs in your company-owned fleet, you are helping to reduce your company’s Scope 1 emissions because your fleet is an asset of your company.
Similarly, using renewable energy sources for charging your EV fleet can help reduce your Scope 2 emissions because, unlike internal combustion engine vehicles, there are no emissions associated with generating the “fuel” consumed by your fleet. Purchasing green energy or adding solar panels to your property can reduce the amount of carbon-emitting energy used on your property.
But not only can fleet electrification benefit your own fleet operational costs and Scope 1 emissions, but it can also be used as a selling point to your own customers. Whether your company is in the shipping business or simply uses a corporate fleet, your company can help other companies in your supply chain reduce their Scope 3 emissions. By choosing your company versus a competitor, your customers can know that your products and services offer less indirect greenhouse gas emissions due to your zero-emissions fleet.
EV benefits beyond fleets
While having an EV fleet and buying renewable energy obviously helps reduce your company’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) for employees at your workplace helps to further reduce your Scope 3 indirect emissions and your business partners’ indirect emissions.
Employee commuting is considered part of your business’s Scope 3 emissions, because employees are traveling to work using personal (or public) transportation. While they are relevant to the company, they are not controlled directly by company processes. This means that by encouraging electric vehicle use among employees, your business can reduce its upstream Scope 3 emissions. Fewer employees driving ICE vehicles means fewer emissions polluting the environment. This translates to fewer Scope 3 emissions for your business partners and customers who are buying products and services from your company. Installing EV charging infrastructure and encouraging your employees to switch to EVs reduces Scope 3 emissions across your supply chain.
By installing EV chargers at your business, you can embolden them to make the transition to EVs. Most EV charging takes place at home and at places where a vehicle would be parked for a significant amount of time, like at work. Provide employees with a way to charge their vehicles at work and they will be more likely to switch to an EV when they are ready to purchase or lease their next vehicle.
Why reducing Scope 3 emissions matters
Regardless of which category they fall under, reducing emissions is good for the environment and good for the health of everyone who works for and with your business. But there are also concrete economic benefits.
In addition to consumers – especially younger, Gen Z consumers – who are choosing to support businesses that are more environmentally conscious, businesses also want to work with other companies that make efforts to be more sustainable. A Harvard Business Review study found that multinational companies are increasingly pledging to only procure the materials and services they need from businesses with fair labor practices and environmental protections in place.
Boosting your corporate sustainability and taking steps to reduce your corporate emissions makes your company more attractive to other businesses that want to reduce their Scope 3 emissions.
How to get started with electric vehicle charging at businesses
When you make the decision to go electric, the first step is choosing the right electrification partner who will help you determine your needs, assess your site, and walk you through the process of procuring any outside funding you may be eligible for. Once all that is completed, your installation can begin, which may involve some electrical upgrades to your site.
Which are the best EV chargers to choose for fleets and employee parking?
Each business has unique needs, but generally, Level 2 chargers will be the main type of charger you will need for fleets and employee parking. Level 2 EV chargers, like the Blink Series 7, are ideal for charging up a depot and can charge a vehicle in four to eight hours depending on different factors.
When you install EV charging equipment for your fleet vehicles and employee parking, you are not only helping your company reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, you are helping every single company up and down your supply chain reduce their Scope 3 emissions. As more businesses are looking for partners who engage in sustainable practices, the benefits of emission reduction are both environmental and economical. Ready to get started reducing your greenhouse gas emissions by installing EVSE at your workplace? Click here to request your free quote.