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Tesla’s 2022 Impact Report was recently released, offering a more comprehensive picture of the electric car company’s carbon footprint. For the first time, Tesla has disclosed its supply chain emissions, shedding light on a significantly larger overall carbon footprint than previously reported.
In the past, Tesla only disclosed greenhouse gas Pollution generated from its direct operations and customer EV charging, which amounted to approximately 2.5 million metric tons of CO2. However, this failed to consider supply chain Pollution, which makes up a significant portion of a company’s carbon footprint.
The newly-released data reveals Tesla’s supply chain emissions for 2022 were roughly 30.7 million tons of CO2, a substantial increase from previous reports. This disclosure emphasizes the importance of accounting for both direct and indirect emissions in order to obtain an accurate assessment of a company’s environmental impact.
Companies are typically required to report their carbon footprints under three main scopes. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from factories, offices, and vehicles; Scope 2 includes emissions from electricity use, heating, and cooling; and Scope 3 encompasses all other indirect emissions, such as supply chains and product lifecycles. Tesla’s 2022 Scope 1 and 2 emissions only amounted to 610,000 metric tons of CO2, which pales in comparison to their Scope 3 emissions.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US has proposed rules requiring all public companies to disclose their Scope 1 and 2 emissions. However, the more contentious part of the proposal, requiring large companies to report their indirect Scope 3 emissions, remains unresolved. The SEC has delayed finalizing this rule, and there are indications that it might not mandate Scope 3 disclosures in the end.
Tesla has lagged behind other automakers in sharing its greenhouse gas emissions data. In comparison, Ford has consistently received “A” grades for its Climate change disclosures since 2019, while Tesla has been rated with “F” grades by the CDP, a nonprofit evaluating companies’ environmental reporting.
Although Ford’s carbon footprint is significantly larger than Tesla’s at over 337 million metric tons of CO2 in 2022, it’s essential to recognize that Tesla’s electric vehicles do not eliminate the environmental impact of its operations. In fact, Tesla’s combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by nearly 4 percent last year, despite efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of each electric vehicle.
As Tesla continues to grow and aims for “sustainable energy for all of Earth,” it’s crucial to manage and measure all aspects of its carbon footprint. This recent disclosure serves as a reminder to consumers and investors to consider the environmental impact of all companies, even those producing eco-friendly products. Encourage the businesses you Support to be transparent about their emissions, and push for comprehensive reporting standards to ensure a sustainable future for all.
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