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Food & Beverage Scope 3 Emissions Reduction

Food and Beverage suppliers across the production landscape are setting new, science-based emissions goals. These emissions reduction goals encompass the emissions they produce directly (Scope 1), the indirect emissions from energy purchased from their utilities (Scope 2), and all upstream and downstream emissions, including product use and disposal (Scope 3). For companies with significant Scope 3 emissions, they can only achieve their goals by ensuring that their Scope 3 supplier base also sets and achieves targets. By eliminating energy waste, suppliers will save money, lower their emissions, and increase the value provided to their customers.


Often, when an organization initiates this journey, they discover that most companies in their value chain have not embarked on the emissions reduction effort of calculating their baseline, setting intermediate milestones, and committing to a net zero future state. This presents unique challenges to both the initiating organization, and the organization in the value chain.  It is even more challenging in the food and beverage industry where products are often sourced internationally with varying levels of focus on emission reduction practices.

It can also be difficult to obtain accurate data, which is essential to the calculation and management of Scope 3 emissions. Sometimes the suppliers simply don’t have the information, others, they may see no benefit in gathering and sharing it.  

Often one of the largest challenges for the initiating organization is overcoming the perception among their suppliers that reducing emissions does not have a direct return on investment and can require a large capital investment. 



Cascade Energy has a proven track record of identifying and overcoming barriers to energy management and decarbonization goals, not only by directly assisting companies eliminate their own energy waste, but also implementing processes to help their up and down stream suppliers do the same. Our vast experience with corporations and utility sponsored programs has uniquely positioned Cascade and its software platform to work across hundreds of different companies to achieve energy management goals.  

One of the most cost-effective initiatives is Cascade Energy’s efficiency-first decarbonization approach which provides a cost-effective methodology, with tangible positive financial results, positioning companies to enjoy the benefits of long-term savings when projects are maintained. By focusing on tools, processes and training that can be replicated throughout the supply chain, companies can achieve and maintain their energy efficiency goals. 



While the task may seem daunting, others in the food industry are already making progress with their supplier base. Here are some that made the headlines:

Nestlé: In 2020, Nestlé committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and had their targets approved by SBTI. To address Scope 3 emissions, Nestlé has been working closely with over 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to support them in implementing sustainable practices. This includes providing training, technical assistance, and financial support. They also launched a CHF 3.2 billion initiative to spur regenerative agriculture across their supply chains.

PepsiCo: PepsiCo has committed to reducing absolute GHG emissions across its value chain by more than 40% by 2030. To tackle Scope 3 emissions, the company has focused on sustainable farming initiatives, including its ‘Sustainable Farming Program’. This program provides training and resources to help farmers implement sustainable practices and improve their resilience to climate change.

Diageo: This beverage company has committed to net zero carbon emissions across direct operations by 2030 and is working to have 100% of its key raw materials sourced sustainably. They are working with suppliers to reduce Scope 3 emissions through sustainable agriculture programs and by advocating for more sustainable practices in the supply chain.

To encourage suppliers to adhere to emissions targets, it’s important to employ a combination of tactics including direct collaboration and a provision of resources and training.

Whether you are seeking to lower your emissions, your supplier base’s scope 3 emissions, or you have been notified by your customer that you are in their value chain, let Cascade Energy help you create an efficiency-first plan that works for you and your supplier network. Learn more about how we can help here or schedule a call with one of our experts today.

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