In 2019, Concord was ready to lead the way on Scope 3 carbon footprinting in the commodities sector. However, with over 10,000 trades to analyze, unknown key upstream assets and the notorious data gap for extractive emissions, they needed expert tools fast. Since then, CarbonChain has calculated Concord’s supply chain emissions across more than 30,000 trades, providing fast, accurate, and auditable reports that help address risk, and that stakeholders can trust.
Concord is a commodity merchant focused on non-ferrous metals and associated raw materials. Founded in 2015, it has grown to become one of the leading global independent metals and minerals traders. Concord is headquartered in London with representative offices in New York, Connecticut and Hong Kong.
Back in 2019, Concord knew that to future-proof its business it needed to understand its carbon footprint. Measuring emissions is the first essential step to managing carbon risk and preparing for the net-zero economy.
Concord’s supply chain (Scope 3) emissions were the most important, being the largest source of a typical large company’s emissions — especially in the carbon-intensive commodities industry.
As a first mover in the sector, Concord wanted to take a market-leading approach, helping define best practice in carbon accounting for commodity trading.
As well as quantifying its total Scope 3 CO2 output, Concord recognized the need to benchmark its performance, break down the emissions sources, and compare trades, suppliers and assets, to gain actionable insights for its carbon strategy.
To avoid risky and imprecise estimates, Concord needed accurate, verifiable and comprehensive emissions calculations that all of its stakeholders could trust. This meant including all of its approx. 10,000 annual trades — not just a sample — and covering the end-to-end supply chain for each one.
Doing this in-house seemed impossible, partly due to the sheer volume of manual data collection and analysis required, and partly due to the well-known shortage of reliable emissions data for the extraction, production and transport of commodities.
Concord needed a cost-effective solution that could deal with the specific challenges of the commodities sector. This is where CarbonChain stepped in.
Mapping the supply chain: First, Concord provided CarbonChain with a raw data dump of its supply chain documentation, directly from its CTRM (Commodity Trading and Risk Management) platform.
CarbonChain extracted and organized the data and — crucially — identified gaps. For example, important asset-level information was sometimes missing, such as where products were made. Without this data, emissions calculations lack credibility. A product’s carbon footprint varies hugely depending on the production location, so trying to identify the specific smelter or refinery is necessary for yielding useful and accurate results.
CarbonChain filled these gaps. We modeled the 10,000 trades and tracked the commodities' movements from source to production to transportation, providing:
A complete carbon footprint: Once the missing details were in place, we calculated the corresponding emissions, and provided Concord with an accurate end-to-end supply chain carbon footprint, containing asset-level breakdowns for its entire trade portfolio.
Calculations at the click of a button: As soon as CarbonChain’s software receives trade data, it can return a comprehensive emissions report within 10 minutes. Our technology uses machine learning to fill in the raw supply chain data gaps and make accurate, verifiable calculations — including benchmarking and ratings — that previously needed significant manual work.
With automated Scope 3 carbon accounting embedded in its workflow, Concord is more prepared for changing regulation and stakeholder demand. Concord can identify risks quickly and easily, such as the impact of carbon pricing on its supply chains.
Concord is proactively sharing its emissions data with internal and external stakeholders, to get ahead of mandatory disclosure regulation, support data-led decision-making and enable informed conversations with banks about green finance opportunities.
With CarbonChain, Concord can benchmark its carbon performance. CarbonChain rates trades, suppliers and activities so that Concord can track progress, identify hidden carbon hotspots and identify greener and cleaner options to inform future sourcing strategies.
Concord also receives valuable insights into the reason for the huge variations in emissions for similar products that it can factor into its decision-making. For example, coal-powered smelting in Asia can lead to aluminum with over 90% more emissions than aluminum sourced from Iceland, where electricity is from geothermal or hydroelectric sources.
Concord is raising the bar for leadership on carbon accounting in the sector. Building on the success to date, Concord plans to use CarbonChain to complete the rest of its emissions inventory so that it can be the first commodity trader to give a complete, accurate and verifiable disclosure across Scopes 1, 2 and 3.
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