Q&A Webinar EY & Satelligence
Thank you for attending our webinar on scope 3 emissions with E&Y on March 30 with Niels Wielaard (CEO and Founder of Satelligence), Inez van der Vet (Manager of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at Ernst & Young) and Rob Wortelboer (Partner of Climate Change and Sustainability Services at Ernst & Young). It was an enlightening session on a complex topic, and we hope you found it useful.
We received a number of questions from audience members during the session. We’ve now been through all of those questions and supplementary answers below.
What about avoided emissions (or uptake), so for example, if you use biofuel or biomass, can you subtract that from your total emissions?
To calculate emissions, you have fuel and a conversion factor, and times each other to have the emission factor. If you use biogas instead of natural gas, then the emissions factor will be closer to zero than conventional gas. So scope 1 emission will be lower if you use a source of fuel with a lower emission factor.
Can we claim avoidance emission from selling wood from rubber trees that are not being used anymore?
How is your data different from the free Copernicus satellite data?
It’s the same data, but Copernicus data does not provide information on deforestation automatically. Our deforestation data is based on Copernicus (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2) and USGS data (Landsat), and we apply custom algorithms to clean the noise in the data. We also use additional data sources like the open GEDI dataset to develop global carbon stock estimation models.
In the palm oil industry, is that right that the scope 3 emission of FFB (fresh fruit bunch) purchased from suppliers comes mostly from LUC? Thus, can we calculate their tree carbon segregation and NDPE commitment, then it has already balanced the emission?
The scope 3 emissions of FFBs are indeed mostly due to LUC. But it is not possible to use the carbon sequestration of the oil palm trees, to balance the LUC scope 3 emissions from FFB production.
Do Satelligence / EY have any advice or technical product that addresses the challenge of secondary forest (or degraded / disused land) being restored to higher carbon value plantation and how that looks to a company’s SCOPE-3 footprint?
The short answer is yes. With Copernicus (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2) and USGS data (Landsat), Satelligence has developed a forest baseline that differentiates between primary, disturbed, and regrowth forest. Our disturbed forest class includes secondary and degraded forest. We combine our forest baseline with 3D vegetation cover measurements from the open GEDI dataset, to estimate the aboveground biomass and generate global carbon stock maps. A time series analysis allows you to observe carbon stock trends across entire landscapes over decades. Note that secondary forest restoring to higher carbon stocks is usually not considered to be plantations but rather natural succession.
We use Satelligence as our supplier no deforestation and no peat monitoring, could we also use Satelligence to be one of the ways to validate/measure our impact in terms of reducing deforestation? If yes, how it works?
Yes, please contact us for more information.
How are FLAG emissions calculated when they are only part of Scope 3 and the exact location of the supplier is unknown?
In this case, a statistical LUC (sLUC) approach (also known as jurisdictional approach) can be used to calculate the emission factors.
What is the resolution of this emissions data? And will it have any limitations on smaller-sized farm suppliers?
Resolution = 1 ha. For perennial crops and soy, there are hardly any farmers with farms smaller than 1 ha, thus we do not expect any limitations.
Are there any tools or methods to validate/measure our impact in terms of reducing deforestation?
Yes, you can do scenario modeling or do a study with one of our partners’ developed in-house tooling.
How you verify data provided by your clients to be used in the satellite information?
We cross-reference data against open datasets and our current database of supply chain information. If we find discrepancies, we inform the client with an update request.
In SBTi FLAG sector, can it be used for insetting to reduce emissions to achieve SBTi target?
Yes, if your target plan gets approved by SBTi.
In the FLAG sector, are avoided emissions accounted against LUCs, or separate as carbon removal?
dLUC is to count (historic) carbon emissions which can be the basis for carbon removal targets (SBTi FLAG), then, you need a monitoring system to measure and account for what you claim.
Can you clarify whether dLuc and SLuc are scope 3? Wouldn’t dLUc be scope 1?
dLuc and sLuc are both Scope 3, they just use different counting methods; sLuc is a statistical approach, working with assumptions, dLuc is a direct measurement approach.
What is the accuracy of your biomass / CO2 calculations 20 years back?
We are consistent with reporting requirements. However, what’s really important is consistency. Consistency is a condition for accuracy. Satellite observations provide spatial and temporal consistency. That means you can have a global overview of your entire supply chain, allowing you to pinpoint high-risk areas. Once high-risk areas are in focus, you can start addressing accuracy.
You show a lot of focus on forest/non-forest but the GHG stipulates other types of land coverage like wetlands etc Does your solution aligns already with all these land cover types?
What is the data confidence level of Satelligence remote sensing data to field data?
That depends completely on the quality of the field data. RS only has consistent quality for the whole globe with historical data going back to 2000. Field data can yield higher spatial resolution local models. The exact quality depends on the field data protocol and methods used.
Can we understand the distinction between dLUC & sLUC similarly to the difference between Market-based & location-based Scope 2 reporting methods?
dLuc and sLuc are Scope 3 different counting methods; sLuc is a statistical approach, working with assumptions, dLuc is a direct measurement approach.
Are your carbon stock assessments based on Remote sensing or field studies?
Our global model is RS only and uses GEDI data for training the model; we can do higher detail local models, pending availability of field data or LiDAR data, applicable to landscape within the same ecosystem.
How is the LUC data emissions reported in Scope 3 for perennial crop where conversion has happened many years ago? Are the emissions then spread over the lifetime of the crop or in 1 time?
Usually a linear temporal discounting is applied where recent land conversion is weighted higher than non-recent LUC. 5 year and 10 year discounting periods are used.