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Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

esg Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

Maximizing Sustainability Reporting Using Transportation Invoice Data

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will soon vote on implementing new standards in annual reporting. The update will require public companies to disclose information on climate-related risks and emissions if adopted.

Carbon emissions are broken down into three levels – production (Scope 1), electricity used for operations (Scope 2), and all other uses (Scope 3). As a result, tracking and reporting these emissions will be challenging for many enterprises.

Scope 3 contains all transportation, logistics, and other supply chain emissions, accounting for 27 percent of the world’s total. Therefore, when companies publish their 2025 annual reports, they will have to report full emissions data from all three scopes for the entire year of 2024. That may sound like it offers some lead time, but to collect the data throughout 2024, companies need systems to track the data in 2023.

 Bottom line? If you’re not tracking and measuring carbon emissions – you’re behind. That’s why it’s imperative that supply chain leaders start now to pursue a method for monitoring and reporting emissions. Tracking emissions from Scope 1 (production) and Scope 2 (electricity used in day-to-day operations) is relatively simple because the information is reflected in internal power usage records. 

 Scope 3, however, is much more complicated because of the different variables involved – perhaps the most complicated part involves supply chain activity. The company neither controls these emissions nor has easy access to the data. Trying to gather all that data from outside vendors is a nearly impossible task.

Technology should provide some powerful assistance. Many software platforms have advanced to the point where they can help companies mine this data from their existing records, so it shouldn’t be necessary to collect it all manually. Moreover, much of the same software used to track cost efficiency and other operational details can likely be adapted to track emissions.

Many companies don’t welcome tracking their emissions, but it’s a powerful new level of intelligence in your operations. Knowing your level of emissions and the ability to analyze and distill it will represent a powerful new level of intelligence in your operations. The SEC’s new rule could be a welcome incentive for companies committed to environmental excellence. Measuring emissions means more than mere regulatory compliance; it can serve as benchmarks for improvement.

Supply chain leaders should look for carbon emissions tracking platforms that dig deep into the data to see what generates the bulk of the emissions. Then company leaders will be empowered to make focused decisions that will improve their emissions footprint. They won’t have to guess. They will know.

Demand for corporate social responsibility is already strong, and it’s growing. Companies that can show progress toward sustainability in their supply chain operations will have a competitive advantage in the broader market. Anyone can say they’re committed to sustainability. However, those who demonstrate that their efforts are measurable, defined, and scalable will have proven the case.

The transportation and logistics industry is already working hard to adopt sustainable supply chain practices. It’s a priority because it impacts the planet’s health, and markets demand it.

We know that carbon and greenhouse gas emissions have increased by an astonishing 16,300 percent in the past 170 years. And we know transportation accounts for a substantial portion of that. The industry deserves a way to demonstrate its improvement on this front. The SEC is getting ready to demand it, but good business and good stewardship of the planet already do.

Josh Bouk is the President at Trax Technologies, the global leader in Transportation Spend Management (TSM) solutions. Trax elevates traditional Freight Audit and Payment (FAP) with a combination of industry-leading cloud-based technology solutions and expert services to help enterprises with the world’s more complex supply chains better manage and control their global transportation costs and drive enterprise-wide efficiency and value. For more information, visit  



States With the Least Carbon-Intensive Economies

World leaders convened in Glasgow this November for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Facing the intensification of global climate change, the negotiators reached an agreement that explicitly commits to reducing the use of coal, limiting other greenhouse gas emissions, and providing support to developing countries most impacted by climate change.

The Glasgow conference reflected heightened urgency around climate change as the effects of carbon emissions have accelerated and become more severe in recent years. A 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that without rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, warming above 1.5°C is almost inevitable. This level of warming would have disastrous effects in the form of sea level rise, more severe weather events, and harm to agricultural systems and human health.

While there is still much work to do, the good news for the U.S. is that many states and the country as a whole have begun to reverse the growth in carbon emissions. Government policy to limit emissions and advancements in lower-emission technologies across the economy have helped turn the trends in the right direction.

Much of this progress has taken place over the last fifteen years. Total CO2 emissions peaked in 2007 at over 6 billion metric tons, but that figure fell to around 4.6 billion metric tons in 2020. One of the big contributors has been decarbonization in electric power generation due to the decline of heavy-emitting coal and the rise of clean energy sources like wind and solar. Over the last decade, these factors have reduced CO2 emissions associated with electric power generation by around 36%. And this trend also contributes to emissions reductions in the main “end-use” sectors—transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial—that consume electricity. Residential and commercial have seen the sharpest declines, with emissions dropping by more than a quarter since 2010 across both sectors combined.

Encouragingly, these declines have taken place even while the U.S. population and economy have continued to grow. From 1970 to the mid-2000s, carbon emissions and GDP grew together, with the pace of GDP growth exceeding that of carbon emissions. More recently, the steady upward trajectory of GDP has continued while carbon emissions have ticked downward. Since 2007, total energy-related CO2 emissions are down by 23.9% while real GDP has increased by 17.7% in the same span. These trends help alleviate concerns that reducing carbon emissions necessarily means limiting economic productivity, and many U.S. states are proving that economic growth in a less carbon-intensive economy is possible.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the states with the least carbon-intensive economies, researchers at calculated total CO2 emissions per GDP. States with a lower value were ranked higher. In the event of a tie, the state with lower per capita CO2 emissions was ranked higher.

Here are the states with the least carbon-intensive economies.

State Rank CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million) CO2 emissions per capita Total CO2 emissions (tons) Largest source of CO2 emissions
New York 1 123.6 9.0 175,900,000 Petroleum
Washington 2 135.9 10.2 77,000,000 Petroleum
Connecticut 3 136.8 10.5 37,600,000 Petroleum
California 4 148.0 9.0 356,600,000 Petroleum
Massachusetts 5 158.1 9.4 64,600,000 Petroleum
New Hampshire 6 158.9 10.5 14,300,000 Petroleum
Vermont 7 163.9 9.4 5,900,000 Petroleum
Oregon 8 164.5 9.5 39,900,000 Petroleum
New Jersey 9 198.0 11.9 105,400,000 Petroleum
Maryland 10 200.3 10.2 61,700,000 Petroleum
Rhode Island 11 206.5 10.5 11,100,000 Petroleum, Natural Gas
Hawaii 12 249.7 14.4 20,500,000 Petroleum
Arizona 13 252.1 13.1 93,900,000 Petroleum
Illinois 14 253.0 16.7 212,200,000 Petroleum
Maine 15 254.9 11.0 14,800,000 Petroleum
United States 287.2 16.2 5,297,400,000 Petroleum


For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on’s website: