Scope 3 GHG emissions
Our scope 3 emissions
Our absolute scope 3 GHG emissions amounted to 11.7 million tons of CO2eq in 2021, which is a decrease of 0.3 million tons of CO2eq compared to reported emissions in 2020. This is an increase of 0.8 million tons compared to the previous year on a like-for-like basis, taking the divestment of our Resins and Functional Materials and associated businesses into account. The increase was primarily driven by more sourced volume (as a result of increased production volumes) in continued operations resulting in an increase in emissions from Purchased Goods and Services.
The main scope 3 categories in the 2021 figures remain emissions from the categories Purchased Goods and Services and End-of-Life Treatment of Sold Products, accounting for almost 90% of total scope 3 emissions. End-of-life emissions increased slightly compared to 2020, due to increased sales volumes.
In 2021, one of the highlights in this area was the positive development at DSM Engineering Materials, which benefited from high volumes with a greatly improved carbon footprint of caprolactam from our supplier Fibrant/HighSun. Additionally, the supplier to our Nutrition business with the second-highest level of emissions made a significant investment in order to reduce its emissions through the use of a catalytic conversion technology. The new installation entered operation toward the end of 2021, resulting in some reduction in 2021, and will result in a further significant reduction in emissions as of 2022.
Other scope 3 categories reported comparable figures in 2021 compared to 2020.
Science Based Targets
The Science Based Target defined scope 3 intensity, expressed in kg CO2eq/kg produced, decreased by an additional 3% compared to 2020 largely due to the highlights described above.
In our Nutrition business, the inclusion of the learnings from the CO2REDUCE program into the supplier selection process resulted in an improved emission profile and reductions for several key raw materials. Overall, the sourcing mix of raw materials for the nutrition business showed an increased carbon intensity as other more advanced raw materials and ingredients with a higher carbon footprint were also sourced.
Engaging with our suppliers through our CO2REDUCE program
In 2021, the supplier engagement program CO2REDUCE continued to build on agreed roadmaps and progressed as planned. The focus was twofold.
Firstly, we obtained new insights, datapoints and reduction opportunities through our collaboration with suppliers for key contributing raw materials. Together with our suppliers, reduction action plans were developed based on product carbon footprint data. In 2021, we continued to explore new opportunities for scope 3 emissions reductions through multiple supplier emissions plans.
Secondly, we identified low-carbon opportunities for several of our products using insights from the CO2REDUCE program regarding supplier emission plans and the associated emissions reduction potential. This served as essential input into the further development of our business strategy.
One of the ways to inspire suppliers in their reduction journey is through webinars on options for scope 3 emission reductions. In 2021, we organized a webinar on energy efficiency with a full value chain approach. A supplier, a customer and DSM shared their approach to energy efficiency with a group of Chinese suppliers active in the engagement program. The webinar (in Mandarin) and the program were well received, and discussions were continued in the subsequent supplier programs.
Calculation and tracking of our scope 3 emissions developed further in 2021 to efficiently harness and utilize the insights gained in the program. Digitalization of the reporting enabled further transparency and better program steering. The reported emissions reflect the latest insights and are based on an increased share of supplier-specific emissions instead of using industry average figures.
We actively share our experiences from the CO2REDUCE program in peer-group platforms such as ‘Together for Sustainability’. These platforms aim to define best practices in supplier engagement and scope 3 calculations within the industry, while also serving as an inspiration to improve the program further.
For the third time in a row, we received a supplier engagement leadership award for our CO2REDUCE program, which is a highly esteemed recognition both internally and externally.
Finally, we also develop products for the circular and bio-based economy that contribute to further reducing our scope 3 emissions. See Stakeholder engagement and Renewable & secondary raw materials for additional information.
Avoided emissions, supporting our customers with their emissions targets
Our products can enable our customers to transition to a low-carbon economy through an inherently lower carbon footprint, or by helping our customers and end-users reduce their own emissions. The latter are referred to as ‘Avoided emissions’ — emissions-related environmental benefits that occur downstream in the use phase of our products. While avoided emissions do not count toward our own Science Based Targets or net-zero target, they result in reduced emissions for others in our value chain.
Fruit juice production produces around 800 kg CO2eq per ton of juice produced. The challenge for juice processors is to achieve high yields and ensure maximum throughput during peak season, despite the varying quality of raw materials. Our Rapidase® range of fruit processing enzymes addresses these challenges, delivering a consistent, high-quality, crystal-clear apple juice with a lower environmental impact. Our enzyme solutions portfolio Rapidase® Smart helps our customers to reduce their GHG emissions by 50 kg of CO2eq per ton of juice produced. This contributed to approximately 37 kt of CO2eq reduction in 2021.
Over 50% of emissions created globally during milk production come in the form of enteric methane, released into the atmosphere through the burping of cows. Bovaer® suppresses the enzyme that triggers methane production in a cow’s rumen; it is the most extensively studied and scientifically proven solution to the challenge of burped methane to date. Just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer® per cow per day consistently reduces enteric methane emission by approximately 30% for dairy cows and even higher percentages (up to 90%) for beef cows. Methane is a GHG that is short-lived but 28 times more potent than CO2. Bovaer® therefore contributes to a significant and immediate reduction of the environmental footprint of meat, milk and dairy products. DSM has available initial commercial product volumes for near term market development. In 2021, engineering for a new large plant for Bovaer® in Dalry (UK) has started to facilitate further scale up in coming years.