New discussion paper: Scope 3.4/3.9 – Practical guidelines for data collection and calculation of greenhouse gas emissions from up- and downstream transportation and distribution


The newly published discussion paper summarizes the core findings of the DGCN Peer Learning Group Climate for Scope 3.4/3.9 data collection and calculation of greenhouse gas emissions from up- and downstream transportation and distribution. It also provides guidelines for corporate practice and invites experts to take part in a professional exchange of ideas around the topic.

A growing number of companies are accounting for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions originating from outside their organizational boundaries within the value chain. To actively reduce these emissions, companies must initially collect data, calculate emissions, and identify emission hotspots. The GHG Protocol of the World Resources Institute identifies 15 categories of so-called scope 3 emissions from upstream and downstream activities. For many companies, GHG emissions from upstream and downstream transportation and distribution, which fall within scope categories 3.4 and 3.9, constitute a major source of corporate emissions.

The Peer Learning Group Climate, which was launched in 2015 by the Global Compact Network Germany (DGCN), consists of 8-12 companies from chemical/pharmaceutical, energy, retail, service, transportation and technology industries. In 2018, the group intensively discussed the challenges of data collection and calculation of Scope 3.4/3.9 emissions. In webinars and face-to-face meetings, experts from large German companies exchange experiences relating to corporate climate management and collaborate on developing concrete solutions.

This publication summarizes the core findings of the discussion and proposes solutions to common challenges. It focuses particularly on the choice of appropriate calculation methods and emission factors as well as the practical application of common methods. 

This publication is also available in a German version.

Further discussion papers oninternal carbon pricing in companies and science-based targets were also published in 2018 (in German and English).

If you have any suggestions or additions to make to this paper, or would like to be an active participant in further discussions of the topics covered by the Peer Learning Group Climate, then please get in touch with Sophie von Gagern.


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