Swinburne has partnered with Melbourne start-up Scope3 to develop a prototype system that will accurately collect and report real-time greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data in the transport and logistics supply chain.
The data gathered will provide insights into transport-generated GHG information, which is required by businesses to complete carbon accounting and climate risk analysis.
“Business, government and the community are uniting in concern about the impact of human activity on climate change,” says Deputy Director of Swinburne’s Smart Cities Research Institute, Professor Hussein Dia.
“But, in order to deal effectively with the problem, we must understand the causes of and the relative contributions to GHG generation.”
The collaboration aims to develop a GHG measurement system for all modes of road transport, including the last leg of the delivery process known as ‘last mile delivery’. It will also develop a prototype digital platform to report, organise and manage the data, and machine learning models to automatically identify improvement opportunities.
“Managing the collection and analysis of GHG emissions data is a complex and diverse challenge for businesses, governments and industry,” says Professor Dia.
“In particular, accurate GHG emissions data from transport emissions, accounting for the ‘last mile’ of a global supply chain, is not readily available and accessible for use.”
GHG Protocol Corporate Standard
The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company’s GHG emissions into three ‘scopes’. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream transport emissions. This is the focus of the Swinburne-Scope3 project.
GHG emissions reporting is being prioritised worldwide and international standards such as the Global Logistics Emissions Council framework are now used, but significant issues exist with data sourcing, accuracy, timeliness and transparency in current Scope 3 data collection and management practice.
Professor Dia says this is especially so in Australia where GHG emissions reporting is not yet mandatory across the board. The complexity of data collection and reporting means that many who could benefit from reporting are simply not participating.
“We believe this is potentially world-leading work with significant benefits for the transport, logistics and supply chain industries’ contribution to the climate change fight,” says founder and CEO of Scope3, Michael Blake, .
The collaboration between Swinburne Business School’s Information Systems for Social Impact Research Group, researchers from Swinburne’s School of Software and Electrical Engineering, and Scope3 is funded by the Smart Cities Research Institute.
Scope 3 was born out of the growing acceptance that change is required in the way we transport goods, in order to counter the rapidly mounting effects of climate change. Its goal is to help businesses understand their logistics emissions and make a positive change to the world together.