When it came to emissions management, BSR wanted to set ambitious net-zero targets that followed SBTi’s Net Zero Standard. They first needed to establish their current emissions impact through a first-time greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory across Scopes 1, 2, and 3.
As a global, service-based organization that works with an extensive list of companies and contractors, BSR expected that a bulk of their emissions would come from scope 3, category 1 (emissions from their contractors), and category 6 (business travel), as well as from scopes 1 and 2 (emissions created from heating and electricity use across their global offices). They also knew that collecting and calculating their emissions would be complex work, which is why they wanted a trusted partner and software solution to help them establish a solid, foundational inventory.
- Develop BSR’s first full scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG inventory, relying on estimations and modeling to fill gaps where primary data was not available
- Standardize an abundant amount of disparate data and utilize the correct emissions factors for activities across different geographic locations
- Collect all emissions data in one central location for better visualization and planning
In early 2022, supported by Optera’s ESG Insights platform, BSR worked hand-in-hand with the Optera team to begin collecting data for their inventory.
BSR relied on Optera’s expertise to estimate emissions data from their contractors. As these contractors were largely individuals and micro-businesses, they did not have the capacity to assess their own emissions. The BSR and Optera teams worked together to perform spend-based calculations so they could understand the extent of their scope 3, category 1 emissions.
Additionally, BSR has a team of full-time employees across the globe who work from different types of workspaces including leased offices, rented spaces, owned offices, coworking spaces, and home offices. BSR relied on Optera to help collect utility data from all of their offices when available, and to model the data when it wasn’t available. This information came back in a variety of languages and formats, which Optera standardized so it could be used for emissions calculations. Through modeling and standardization, BSR was able to develop a solid foundation for their scope 1, 2, and 3 inventories, which BSR plans to update yearly.
Once collected and standardized, BSR’s emissions data could be understood and used by their entire team. All of this emissions data, along with the emissions factors used in calculations, was then stored within the Optera platform—giving BSR a centralized location where they could review and visualize their emissions inventory.
Armed with an accurate, complete GHG emissions inventory, BSR was able to establish their net-zero targets aligned with SBTi’s Net Zero Standard:
- Reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions in absolute terms by 50%, and their top emitting Scope 3 emissions in absolute terms by 42% by 2030.
- Reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions in absolute terms by 90%, their Scope 3 emissions in absolute terms by 90%, and to reach net-zero by neutralizing residual emissions with permanent removals by 2040.
As a non-profit, BSR cannot submit its target for SBTi validation, but it was important for them to follow the most ambitious standard possible for its own target.
BSR will use the learnings from this emissions inventory process to further help their members navigate the complexities of emissions accounting and management.
“Through BSR’s work supporting SMEs, we know how difficult it can be for companies of this size to find the time and resources necessary to take meaningful climate action. The Optera team provided the outside expertise that was helpful in getting us started on this endeavor. They were instrumental in guiding us through the development of our GHG inventory, and the creation of a ‘starting point’ to enable us to set goals and track our progress against them. We’re grateful to Optera and proud to have them on this journey with us.”
– Giulio Berruti | Climate Director, BSR
Click here to learn more about the sustainability efforts at BSR. A summary of BSR’s process to develop their net zero target is available here.