Month: May 2023

REM Asia recap: Scope 3 emissions, supplier renewable energy procurement, and APAC market trends

Three years ago, a cohort of 3Degrees employees prepared to travel to Singapore for the inaugural Renewable Energy Markets (REM) Asia conference – a welcome expansion of the REM conferences that have been hosted by Center for Resource Solutions in the United States for over twenty-five years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference was rescheduled and held virtually the past two years. With conferences now returning to their pre-2020 norms, 3Degrees was finally able to attend the third annual REM Asia conference in Singapore at the end of April. 

Representatives from our advisory services, renewable markets, product development, and market intelligence teams joined nearly two hundred renewable energy professionals from around the world to discuss emerging trends, market updates, and obstacles and opportunities related to renewable energy policy and procurement. 3Degrees played a leadership role at the conference by serving on REM Asia’s planning committee, moderating a panel session, and leading table topic group discussions. 

Scope 3 decarbonization is a growing priority

Both our panel and table topic discussions addressed reducing supply chain emissions with a focus on promoting renewable energy procurement in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Scope 3 emissions are the indirect emissions resulting from upstream and downstream activities in a company’s value chain. These emissions, which represent the vast majority of most companies’ carbon footprints, can be addressed by implementing internal policy changes, engaging with both suppliers and customers, and investing in product design innovation.

The focus of the panel was specifically on supplier engagement – or how companies can better understand the amount of emissions that result from their suppliers’ electricity consumption and then support their suppliers inthe procurement of renewable energy to address those emissions. This is increasingly important for many companies, especially the thousands of companies that have set science-based targets that often include scope 3 reductions. As electricity consumption forms the basis of nearly all fifteen scope 3 categories, supplier fuel switching to renewables is both an effective and efficient way to quickly reduce upstream value chain emissions. 

Strategies for taking action to address scope 3 emissions.

Obstacles to supplier action are addressable

A common theme when discussing supplier engagement is that it is much easier said than done, and even the initial step of obtaining accurate emissions data has proven difficult for many companies. For instance, of companies that reported their emissions through CDP last year, just 39% utilized its Supply Chain initiative to request that their suppliers also report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Those that did participate, on average, only reached out to 34% of their suppliers, and less than half of these suppliers followed through with reporting their emissions. Furthermore, only a fraction of those suppliers that reported through CDP disclosed that they had a formal emissions reduction target in place. 

Scope 3 decarbonization session moderated by 3Degrees

Despite these roadblocks, there’s an encouraging silver lining – there were nearly 41,000 suppliers engaged in CDP reporting last year, compared to just over 6,000 a decade ago. However, even when suppliers are successfully engaged, additional barriers to action frequently arise due to the cost of fuel switching, limited renewable energy procurement options in key APAC markets (and elsewhere around the world), and more complexities related to the allocation and communication of both upstream and downstream emission reduction claims across value chains. 

Although these barriers add complexity to supplier action, they are far from insurmountable, and we increasingly encounter new success stories. For example, take Kingwhale, a global supplier of performance fabrics that spoke on the panel with 3Degrees, that is the first APAC-based textile manufacturing company to join the RE100 initiative and commit to procuring 100% renewable electricity by 2040. They have three sites in Taiwan with onsite solar and are providing investment support for their suppliers to also install onsite solar. What makes Kingwhale more impressive is that they made this commitment not due to customer demands or environmental regulation, but because they want to demonstrate their sustainability leadership and serve as an example to other suppliers in this space.

Other key conference themes

Beyond the increased relevance of supply chain engagement to address scope 3 emissions, there were several other important takeaways from the conference.

  • APAC markets continue to mature and expand: Individual sessions were held on the state of renewable energy markets in China, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Taiwan. Each of these countries faces unique obstacles and opportunities, typically driven by the structure of energy policy and regulation. Despite some headwinds, renewables are expected to continue to penetrate these electricity markets, which are undergoing a transition not only away from fossil fuels but also in terms of greater reach, reliability, and access.
  • Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are gaining momentum: Onsite, off-site, and virtual PPAs were referenced in the majority of sessions, with India, Australia, and Taiwan leading the region in terms of contracted capacity. Increased utilization of PPAs is expected in China, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Singapore, giving corporate buyers a way to increase their environmental impact and push for new renewables to be developed on these grids. While many of the successfully executed PPAs discussed are fairly bespoke case studies and not all markets currently allow for PPAs, there is strong demand for PPAs in APAC markets. 
  • Market boundaries remain a point of discussion: Conference attendees shared contrasting opinions on cross-border renewable energy consumption claims in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grid region. CDP-defined criteria clearly state that, in this region, a market boundary is the geographic border of each country, however, some market participants believe that more liberalized boundary rules are justified by the interconnectedness of these electricity markets.
  • Forthcoming GHG Protocol changes loom large: World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development recently administered a survey to solicit stakeholder feedback on their Scope 2 Guidance. Attendees discussed how this feedback could affect reporting standards for purchased electricity, along with how they are seeking more localized approaches and guidance from the GHGP on the APAC region. Updates to the guidelines are not expected until 2025, so we expect this protocol revision process to continue to be discussed extensively at similar conferences over the next two years.

3Degrees attendees pictured left-to-right: Nick Hanson, Julie Casabianca, Amy Chiang, Haley Shewfelt, Noah Bucon, and Kesh Nayebi.

Clear prospects for continued market development

With renewable energy markets continuing to develop and evolve due to changing regulatory landscapes and increasing corporate action, 2023 is shaping up to be an influential year for these markets globally, but especially in the APAC region, which generally has less than 5-10% renewable energy penetration. We expect continued country-specific developments related to renewable energy procurement options, and we are committed to helping our clients understand these opportunities and address any barriers that exist to reducing their carbon footprints. 

Please reach out to us with any questions on the use of renewables in your value chain and other impactful ways to understand and address your scope 3 emissions.

EV fleet regulation updates, opportunities, and considerations from ACT Expo

Earlier this month, 3Degrees had the opportunity to join other transportation industry players at Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, a growing sustainable mobility conference with no signs of slowing down. The transportation transformation is happening right before our eyes, and it’s never felt more real than it did at ACT. Over 10,000 attendees gathered to discuss all facets of sustainable mobility and the momentum was tangible. It was evermore apparent that the transition to electric does not just pertain to passenger vehicles (SUV, Sedans, etc.), but every type of mobility you can think of – both on- and off-road: yard tractors, forklifts, transport refrigeration units, marine – you name it. 

Big themes at the conference this year included the infrastructure availability challenge, new zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) policies like the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, hydrogen applications, utility and grid synchronicities, and public-private partnerships. In this blog, I hope to explore a few of these topics as well as share lessons learned from fleet transition discussions our team took part in. 

Keys to a robust fleet transition plan

With new technologies emerging constantly, organizations actively working to reduce transportation emissions should have robust transition plans in place with some built-in room for flexibility. At ACT, I noted a few strategies fleets were incorporating to stay flexible as they transition to decarbonized fleets.

Being proactive and forward thinking was a sentiment I heard repeatedly – in order to gain a competitive advantage, stay ahead of the compliance curve, and create a cushion of time for delays or unforeseen logistical hiccups. For example, Bonnie Nixon, Director of ESG and Sustainability at the Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) urged that “planning ahead is critical” and that fleets “need to look 3-5 years out.” Nixon also stressed the importance of identifying what is driving an organization’s desire to electrify and that a cost-benefit analysis can be helpful in understanding what is most viable, implementable and affordable. 

Leading by example, LBCT shared that the changes they made to their operations allowed them to take advantage of the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) program. The WAIRE program is a credit /deficit system related to truck traffic and aims to reduce warehouse emissions, specifically those related to transportation-related activities. LBCT has used this program to generate revenue and offset the cost of its transition. 

Two takeaways from this discussion were that there are hundreds of millions of dollars available in grants, incentives and loans to assist with fleet electrification, and when looking at operational costs, an organization should examine warehouse and fleet emissions simultaneously, not in silos. A successful fleet is one that plans properly for regulation impacts, leverages incentive programs, maximizes infrastructure utilization, and develops a multi-phase approach that builds its electrified fleet one piece at a time, knows its total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis process and has fleet replacement cycles in place.

Market Landscape 

There are many factors to consider when transitioning to an electric fleet. Like Ari Silkey, Amazon’s General Manager of North America Surface Transportation, said, “Navigating the vehicle availability and infrastructure confluence, balancing the utility requirements, and chasing after funding is a challenging dance to do.” There are an overwhelming number of options to choose from and pathways to take, but companies that focus on their fleet electrification now can avoid non-compliance penalties and exemplify leadership in the space.

I heard at ACT that there are currently over 550 incentive programs to take advantage of, including the numerous regional clean fuel standard (CFS) programs in North America, which can help ensure a positive TCO, amongst other things. Many of the incentive programs can be combined to finance fleet electrification, and multiple programs (including the CA LCFS) even extend subsidies for acquiring infrastructure. This concern of infrastructure availability was touched on in nearly every session I attended. I learned that 30 DC chargers need to open per day from now to 2026 just for California to meet its targets. John O’ Leary, President & CEO of Daimler Truck North America (DTNA), shared a formula for success in transportation decarbonization, which included:

  • Viable product solutions 
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO) parity 
  • Dependable charging infrastructure

He stressed that infrastructure must be ubiquitous or else the formula doesn’t work. Right now, charging infrastructure is missing and without it DTNA will miss their goals. Throughout ACT week, I picked up on a sense of frustration. “How can our nation’s fleets meet the desired reduction targets if they can’t charge domicile vehicles?” he asked the audience. During his keynote presentation, O’ Leary introduced GreenLane, a project built by DTNA, NextEra Energy Resources and BlackRock Alternatives, that hopes to develop public charging and refueling (EVs and HFCVs) infrastructure depots for medium-duty (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) fleets. 

Multi-Solution Sector

In attending sessions at ACT, I began to recognize that fleets are not exclusively picking one solution, but are using different technologies for various use cases. “It is not one size fits all here,” said ChargePoint President & CEO, Pascuale Romano. “There is a place for every fuel type.” For light-duty, EVs are the overarching solution, but for MD and HD fleets, there are many options to weigh — hydrogen fuel cell, CNG, RNG, or electric? Hydrogen has many uses for all applications, and is already being utilized in fleets, such as that owned by Amazon, who already has 70 locations using hydrogen with plans to scale this up. They also have CNG trucks, Rivian EVs and electric yard vehicles in use. Having multi-fuel and multi-make fleets are effective strategies to mitigate labor shortages, supply chain strains, and other causes of order delays. 

Kevin Schwalb, VP of Government Relations at Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA), said that TRSA has experienced major delays with the ZE trucks they’ve ordered. One purchase order example he mentioned was that 40 trucks could take over three years to arrive. He said that they manage their orders differently now, taking into account that something is likely to be delayed: “it’s whack a mole – totally different every week.” Building in room for those hurdles is a best practice.

As some of the first big electric truck projects are now underway, this issue of manufacturing delays came up in the Executive Infrastructure Roundtable and other sessions at the conference. Many voices stressed the need for production at scale, so the quantities of vehicle and infrastructure equipment supply meet the demand of fleets. Mark Esguerra, Director of Distribution Planning and Strategy at Southern California Edison, urged companies to prioritize permitting and licensing early in anticipation of slow progress on the utility side. I heard that it is vitally important to communicate objectives and deployment plans with your utility, and later engagement can cause delays. 

The Zero Emission Era

Adopted in California the Friday before ACT, the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation was another major talking point at the conference. Working in conjunction with the previously-adopted Advanced Clean Truck regulation, the ACF aims to speed up the adoption of ZEV technologies in the MD and HD transportation space. The rule goes into effect on November 1 and calls for early reporting / compliance at the end of this year. Starting in 2024, fleets are required to purchase an increasing number of ZEVs. 

A pair of regulatory bookends, the Advanced Clean Truck and Fleet rules will affect any organization that touches transportation in the state of California. Over a dozen states have adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, including Washington, which added ZEV sales requirements starting with model year 2025 and will require manufacturers of MD and HD trucks to produce an increasing number of ZEVs for sale in 2024. Many states are also expected to enact their own version of the ACF rule, with California’s program as the model. 

Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) were a popular topic at ACT this year as well, with a whole session devoted to it on the first day. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved amendments to the TRU regulation and requires reporting for all TRUs in operation at the end of 2023, with 15% of a TRU fleet needing to turn over to ZE technology each year from now until the end of 2029. To help finance this piece of the electrification puzzle, credit pathways exist for eTRUs in market-based incentive programs like the LCFS. With the adoption of many new ZEV mandates, having a sturdy regulatory strategy has become even more essential to the success of any organization’s effort to electrify. 

Closing Remarks

I heard at ACT that 2024 will be a year of transition for the transportation industry. Leaving the conference, I felt both a great deal of uncertainty around the ability for fleets to manage this transition in conjunction with OEMs, utilities, and financial partners as well as a renewed sense of hope, with the amount of viable solutions and brilliant minds working on this opportunity for a net zero transport sector.

3Degrees has a team of experts that can help your organization build a fleet transition plan that is strengthened by market-based incentive participation, solidified by regulation compliance, and respected by competitors. For more on how to set your fleet up for success, please get in touch

Impacts of new SBTi FLAG guidance on climate goals

From April 2023 onward, any organization setting emission reduction targets in line with the SBTi framework must set a Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Science-Based Target to comply with SBTi’s new FLAG guidance, with special requirements for companies that have considerable emissions from FLAG activities.

Companies will need to review the crucial pieces of information in the guidance to ensure they understand the impact it will have. To help companies meet the new SBTi requirements on FLAG emissions, we created a guide that outlines 8 crucial steps for preparation.

In this guide, 3Degrees’ Manager of Energy and Climate Practice, Europe, Elena Cernov, will walk you through the SBTi FLAG framework to help ensure your organization makes meaningful progress in addressing its emissions footprint. Download our guide below to discover your pathway for tackling FLAG emissions.



Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority – Landfill Gas Combustion

Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority Landfill Gas Collection and Combustion Project

3Degrees managed project


Pennsylvania is known for its natural beauty, filled with mountains, waterfalls, plateaus, hills and ridges. Thanks to landfill gas-to-energy projects in the state, like the one at the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority (GLRA) Landfill, Pennsylvania residents are able to enjoy their public lands with less concern about harmful pollution.

Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane in the world.  The GLRA Landfill Gas Collection and Combustion  Project benefits climate change strategies by reducing the amount of methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. As waste breaks down in landfills, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is far more potent than carbon dioxide and a major contributor to global warming. In addition to methane, landfills generate carbon dioxide, and high numbers of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Capturing the gas makes a direct impact on human health conditions and air quality in the surrounding area. 

This project serves the 26,000-person community of Lebanon and improves area health conditions by destroying the majority of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) on site. The methane emissions are combusted in two 1.6MW generators, creating an affordable source of renewable energy. GHG emissions of more than 250,000 tCO2e are avoided during the project’s lifetime. Additionally, the GLRA landfill is home to the Renewable Energy Education Center, which hosts students, teachers and community groups to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of clean energy resources to industrial and institutional facilities. 




The GLRA landfill project generates an annual 15,000 MWh of renewable energy. 


Project activity directly reduces the existence of on-site HAPS, which pose threats to public health such as respiratory irritation, central nervous system damage, and cancer.


Operation of the GLRA landfill project employs a professional engineer, staff engineer, and a landfill gas technician. As new team members come on board, on-the-job training is provided as opportunities arise.



View other project profiles or contact us.