As a technology company that partners with customers to access energy, Schlumberger is advancing sustainability within the industry by developing robust roadmaps to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission footprint and designing technologies that help its customers reduce their own GHG emissions—and central to this is a coherent GHG emission accountancy framework. However, measuring Scope 3 GHG emissions is a complex process, and is still relatively in its infancy. Mikki Corcoran, VP, sustainability, discusses Schlumberger’s experiences of assessing and tracking its GHG inventory as part of a net zero commitment that is inclusive of the full value chain.
What do you mean by Scope 3 GHG emissions?
The GHG Protocol divides emissions into three scopes—Scope 1 GHG emissions are the direct emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, while Scope 2 emissions are the indirect emissions associated with the use of electricity generated outside our corporate boundary. Our investment choices and operating practices have a clear and direct impact on our Scope 1 and 2 emissions—for example, we have already converted more than 20% of our facility emission footprint to renewable power and we have begun introducing hybrid vehicles into our fleet.
Scope 3 is a little more complex, as these are indirect emissions from our value chain—upstream from our supply chain and downstream from our customers’ use of our products. Both directions have significant overlaps that require a great deal of partnership and innovation to enable GHG emission reductions.
Is Schlumberger’s net zero target inclusive of all three scopes?
Yes, Schlumberger is committed to getting to net zero by 2050, using 2019 as a baseline year. With minimal reliance on offsets, our plan is focused on reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions across the entire value chain validated by science-based carbon accounting.
Alongside decarbonizing our own operations and investing in low carbon new energy technology ventures, a key part of how we advance sustainability within our industry is by creating technologies that help our customers reduce their environmental footprint. We are also working with our suppliers to improve performance associated with GHG emission reduction via a disclosure process, and I’m really proud that in 2021 we received an A- supplier engagement rating from CDP.
Obviously credible reduction targets require clear accounting methods, figures that can be audited and a degree of precision appropriate to the task. These principles allow us as an industry to share common goals, be fully transparent, and move together in the right direction.
How does Schlumberger measure its GHG emissions?
We began by conducting a screening against the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard for all Scopes and Categories to learn the relative impact of different parts of the portfolio. Expanding our emissions reporting to include Scope 3 reporting was the result of more than two years of focused work.
Although our process was designed and coordinated by a central team, we relied on dozens of subject matter experts in the company to provide input, as well as experienced third-party climate specialists who added clarity in specific cases. We found that data came from multiple sources throughout the organization. In our case over 100 people contributed information so we developed data organization and digital automation tools.
Through the inventory we learnt which of our technologies have an impact in relation to their design, but also the circumstances of their use. With this knowledge we can work with our customers to offer low carbon alternatives–for example, by re-designing the technology with improved efficiency or by incorporating a renewable resource for energy and emissions savings.
Can you share the results of the inventory?
Scope 3 emissions (represented by the sky blue in figure 1) comprise the majority of our GHG emissions. We analyzed all 15 Scope 3 categories, which confirmed our GHG footprint from the use of the technologies and products we sell and lease to customers is the biggest part of our corporate footprint by a wide margin (represented by the turquoise green in figure 2). This reinforces the importance of understanding the details of our own carbon footprint but also the impact our technologies can have on our customers’ operational emissions.