Smart Energy Voices- Episode 45

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 45

A Guide to Addressing Your Scope 3 Value Chain Emissions, with Katherine Canoy

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host Debra Chanil talks with Katherine Canoy, Director of Energy and Climate Practice at 3Degrees. As more organizations are making ambitious climate commitments, such as net-zero emissions, many companies grapple with the most effective way to address their Scope 3 emissions. Debra and Katherine discussed practical steps that organizations can take to tackle their value chain emissions at SED’s recent Renewable Energy Forum. Listen in on the discussion of this hot topic: reducing Scope 3 emissions.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Katherine’s experience with value chain emissions [03:23]
  • Defining Scope 3 value chain emissions [05:30]
  • The value chain emission picture [07:07]
  • How to address Scope 3 emissions [10:33]
  • The importance of perspective in climate action [14:15]
From intern to industry leader

Katherine’s experience with value chain emissions goes back about fourteen years. She joined the Walmart team in 2007 as a grad school intern. She joined full-time after the company learned that about 90% of its total emissions fell outside its operational boundaries. During her first summer on the job, the team embarked on their first supplier sustainability engagement, holding in-person meetings to address carbon measurement and reductions. There was so much they didn’t know at the time, and the questions were very simplistic. Over the years, after learning so much from their suppliers, consultants, non-profits, and customers, Walmart came to be considered a leader in this space. 

Many of the challenges her team faced in 2007 with measuring and reducing value chain emissions remain today. Now, 14 years later, as a consultant with 3Degrees, Katherine has the opportunity to help other organizations navigate these challenges.

Why is Scope 3 crucial?

Scope 3 is an increasingly important topic in corporate climate commitments. As part of the United Nations 2015 Paris Agreement, keeping climate change at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius was stressed as critically important to avoid grim effects. To meet that limit, global emissions need to decline from 2010 levels by 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.

For such a dramatic decline in emissions, it’s necessary not just for governments to make Scope 1 and 2 targets but also for companies to make aggressive Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions targets. The concept is for companies to hold each other accountable, causing more swift and aggressive action. Therefore, public disclosures and corporate goal frameworks must include Scope 3 emissions.

The value of perspective

Perspective is just as important in climate action as in any other aspect of life. It is easy to assume that suppliers, vendors, and customers are on the same journey - but sitting in a different place in the value chain can mean different pressures, different resources, and different amounts of leverage. Cost is typically top of mind for any new initiatives, including carbon reductions. Companies need to reach the right decision-makers and show them a business case for climate action. It can be overwhelming to reach out in your value chain to gather that information. The good news is that there are a lot more people working on this now than ever before with more tools and more knowledge available.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Katherine Canoy

With more than 15 years of experience in the energy, sustainability, and climate industries, Katherine Canoy has expertise in renewable energy procurement, energy efficiency, supply chain climate initiatives, and greenhouse gas measurement and reporting. Her client-focused perspective, gained from more than a decade with Walmart’s energy division and previously as an environmental compliance consultant, guides Katherine in benchmarking, goal setting, and project execution at a global scale. As part of Walmart’s goal to reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 20 million metric tons, Katherine led teams of internal and external stakeholders and managed greenhouse gas reduction projects in a variety of target industries. To help Walmart achieve its goal to be powered 100% by renewable energy, she awarded 420 MW of renewable energy contracts and managed a portfolio of 154 MW of installed onsite solar. Most recently, Katherine was at C2 Energy Capital, a distributed generation solar developer and investor.

Katherine resides in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and two kids, and spends much of her free time answering all the questions a 4-year old can conjure. She holds an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MEM in Energy and Policy from Duke University, and a BS from University of Mary Washington.

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