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Discover the top 5 crucial questions to ask your suppliers for an effective emission report.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Your Suppliers for Your Emission Report

In today's world, sustainable practices are becoming increasingly important for businesses. One key aspect of sustainability is managing and reducing emissions. To effectively track and report emissions, it is crucial to establish a strong partnership with your suppliers. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that your emission report is accurate and comprehensive. In this article, we will explore the five essential questions you need to ask your suppliers to obtain a reliable and informative emission report.

Understanding the Importance of Emission Reports

Before diving into the questions, let's first understand why emission reports are so important. Emission reports provide valuable data on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with your supply chain. This data allows you to analyze your carbon footprint, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies for reducing emissions. By obtaining accurate and detailed emission reports from your suppliers, you can make informed decisions that align with your sustainability goals.

The Role of Suppliers in Emission Reporting

Suppliers play a critical role in emission reporting. They are responsible for collecting and reporting data on their own emissions, which are then incorporated into your overall report. Collaborating with your suppliers ensures that you have access to up-to-date and reliable information. It also fosters transparency and allows for better collaboration in reducing emissions throughout the supply chain.

Why Accurate Emission Reporting Matters

Accurate emission reporting is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a clear picture of your carbon footprint, allowing you to set targets and measure progress over time. Additionally, accurate reporting helps identify potential emissions hotspots within your supply chain, enabling you to prioritize actions and allocate resources effectively. Finally, it demonstrates your commitment to sustainable practices, which can boost your reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers.

Moreover, accurate emission reporting can also lead to cost savings. By identifying areas where emissions can be reduced, you can implement measures that not only benefit the environment but also contribute to financial savings. For example, by optimizing transportation routes or switching to more energy-efficient processes, you can lower fuel consumption and operational costs.

Furthermore, accurate emission reporting allows you to stay ahead of regulatory requirements. As governments around the world continue to prioritize environmental sustainability, they are introducing stricter regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. By having accurate emission reports, you can ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding penalties and legal issues that may arise from non-compliance.

Preparing to Communicate with Your Suppliers

Effective communication is key when approaching suppliers about emission reporting. Before initiating the conversation, it is essential to establish an open dialogue and gather key information.

When preparing to communicate with your suppliers, it's important to consider the cultural and regional differences that may impact how they perceive sustainability and emissions reporting. For example, some suppliers may have different interpretations of environmental regulations based on their location, which can influence their approach to reporting. By acknowledging and understanding these nuances, you can adapt your communication strategy to resonate with each supplier effectively.

Establishing Open Dialogue about Emissions

Begin by emphasizing the importance of emissions reporting and sustainability. Clearly communicate your goals and expectations, and encourage suppliers to share their own sustainability initiatives and achievements. This collaborative approach will help build a foundation for productive discussions.

In addition to discussing emissions reporting, consider addressing the broader topic of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) with your suppliers. By highlighting the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and governance and its impact on economic sustainability, you can foster a more holistic approach to collaboration. This can lead to shared value creation and long-term partnerships that go beyond regulatory compliance.

Key Information to Gather Beforehand

Prior to engaging with your suppliers about emission reporting, gather key information that will guide your conversation. Make sure that you know the most basic information about your supplier, but also going a bit further and knowing about their operations, manufacturing processes, and energy sources. Understanding their specific challenges and opportunities will enable you to tailor your questions effectively and elicit meaningful responses.

Furthermore, consider delving into the topic of innovation and technology adoption within your suppliers' operations. By exploring their readiness to implement sustainable practices and invest in green technologies, you can identify areas for collaboration and mutual growth. This proactive approach can pave the way for strategic partnerships that drive positive environmental impact and business success.

The 5 Essential Questions for Your Suppliers

Now that you have established a foundation for communication, it's time to ask the five essential questions that will ensure accurate and robust emission reporting.

Question 1: What is Your Emission Reporting Methodology?

Ask your suppliers to explain their approach to emission reporting. Are they using internationally recognized standards such as the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol? Are they conducting third-party verifications to ensure the accuracy of their data? Understanding their methodology will help you assess the credibility and transparency of their reporting process.

Moreover, it's important to consider the scope of their reporting. Are they only focusing on direct emissions from their operations, or do they also account for indirect emissions from their supply chain? A comprehensive approach to emission reporting will provide a more accurate picture of their environmental impact.

Question 2: How Do You Monitor and Measure Emissions?

Find out how suppliers monitor and measure their emissions. Are they using advanced monitoring systems that provide real-time data? Or are they relying on estimates based on industry averages? Knowing the accuracy and reliability of their measurement methods is crucial to ensure the integrity of the reported data.

Additionally, inquire about the frequency of their monitoring activities. Are they continuously monitoring their emissions or conducting periodic assessments? Regular monitoring allows for better identification of emission hotspots and the implementation of timely mitigation measures.

Question 3: What Steps Are You Taking to Reduce Emissions?

Inquire about the measures and initiatives your suppliers have implemented to reduce emissions. Are they investing in energy-efficient technologies or exploring renewable energy sources? Understanding their commitment to emission reduction allows you to align your sustainability efforts and explore collaboration opportunities.

Furthermore, ask about their long-term emission reduction targets. Are they setting ambitious goals to reduce their carbon footprint? Suppliers that are actively working towards emission reduction demonstrate their dedication to sustainability and can be valuable partners in your own sustainability journey.

Question 4: How Do You Ensure Data Accuracy in Emission Reporting?

Data accuracy is crucial for reliable emission reporting. Ask suppliers about their data validation and verification processes. Do they have robust systems in place to ensure the accuracy of their reported data? Are they conducting regular audits to identify and address any discrepancies?

Moreover, consider asking about their data management practices. How do they store and secure their emission data? Ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of the data is essential for maintaining trust and credibility in the reporting process.

Question 5: How Can We Collaborate to Improve Emission Reporting?

Finally, initiate a discussion on collaboration opportunities. Explore ways to improve emission reporting together, such as sharing best practices, conducting joint research projects, or establishing emission reduction targets. Collaborative efforts will not only enhance the accuracy of your emission report but also strengthen your relationship with suppliers.

Remember, emission reporting is not just about compliance; it's about driving positive change and creating a sustainable future. By asking these essential questions, you can ensure that your suppliers are aligned with your sustainability goals and actively working towards reducing their environmental impact.

Examples of Questions asked by a leading Australian company in supplier sustainability

CBRE is a leading construction company in Australia and they have set a new standard in supplier engagement by prioritising sustainability alongside pricing in their procurement process. They've implemented comprehensive ESG questionnaires, encompassing 100 questions, to assess their suppliers thoroughly. Although this article highlights the first initial questions to ask your suppliers, take inspiration from how CBRE has managed to create specific questions that provide detailed information about their suppliers. The questionnaire covers various of topics, with a particular focuses on suppliers' emissions disclosures, including:

  • Does your organisation measure its corporate greenhouse gas emissions?
  • Does your organisation report its greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)?
  • Describe your organisation’s approach to reducing carbon emissions and/or achieving Net Zero.
  • Are you currently certified to a sustainable standard, e.g., ISO 20400 or Green Star?
  • By incorporating these comprehensive ESG criteria, CBRE is leading the way in promoting sustainability in the Australian building industry.

    Interpreting the Responses from Your Suppliers

    Once you have gathered the responses to the five essential questions, it is essential to interpret and evaluate the effectiveness of your suppliers' emission reporting. Assess their data against industry benchmarks, and identify any gaps or areas for improvement.

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Their Emission Reporting

    Review the completeness, accuracy, consistency, and transparency of the reported data. Are there any discrepancies or inconsistencies that need clarification? Are the reported emissions in line with your expectations and targets? Evaluating the effectiveness of the emission reporting will provide valuable insights into your supply chain's sustainability performance.

    When evaluating the completeness of the reported data, consider whether all relevant emission sources have been accounted for. It is crucial to ensure that no emissions are overlooked, as even small emissions can have a significant impact on your overall carbon footprint. Additionally, assess the accuracy of the reported data by comparing it to actual measurements or third-party verification. This will help you determine the reliability of the information provided by your suppliers.

    Consistency is another important aspect to evaluate. Are the reporting methods and metrics used by your suppliers consistent across different reporting periods? Inconsistencies in reporting can make it challenging to track progress and compare performance over time. Look for any changes in reporting practices and seek clarification if necessary.

    Transparency is key when it comes to emission reporting. Assess whether your suppliers have provided sufficient information about their emission sources, calculation methodologies, and any assumptions made. Transparency not only ensures accountability but also allows for better collaboration and understanding between you and your suppliers.

    Identifying Areas for Improvement

    Based on the responses received, identify areas where your suppliers can improve their emission reporting. This could include implementing more robust monitoring systems, setting emission reduction targets, or enhancing data validation processes. By addressing these areas, you can collectively work towards a more accurate and comprehensive emission report.

    When identifying areas for improvement, consider the specific challenges and opportunities within your supply chain. For example, if you notice discrepancies in emission reporting from suppliers in certain regions, it may be necessary to provide additional guidance or support to improve their data collection processes. Collaborate with your suppliers to develop tailored solutions that address their unique circumstances while aligning with your sustainability goals.

    Furthermore, consider the potential benefits of adopting new technologies or tools that can streamline the emission reporting process. Automated data collection and analysis systems, for instance, can help reduce errors and improve the overall efficiency of reporting. Explore innovative solutions that can enhance the accuracy and timeliness of emission data, ultimately contributing to a more effective sustainability strategy.


    In conclusion, you must ask your suppliers about their emission report methodology, monitoring and measuring systems, steps taken to reduce emissions, ensuring data accuracy, and collaboration preferences. By asking these five essential questions, you won’t only be able to strengthen your own emission reporting process and enhance your sustainability efforts, but also assist your suppliers in knowledge sharing, innovation, and strategising. Remember to establish open dialogue, gather key information, and interpret the responses to identify areas for improvement. By collaborating with your suppliers, you can build a more sustainable supply chain and contribute to a greener future.

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