Enabling the exchange of primary data across value chains
The challenge of carbon transparency does not end with the creation of granular, comparable, and consistent emissions data within organizations. To achieve complete transparency, the data must flow through the value chain itself, to enable all stakeholders to understand the footprint of their products.
Access to data currently is hampered by technical and organizational hurdles:
- Data sovereignty and confidentiality concerns
- Complex global value chains involving many stakeholders
- Lack of technical and semantic interoperability between data exchange technology solutions
Product emissions data is often competitively relevant and highly confidential. Organizations that strive for transparency therefore face a (perceived) data-sharing dilemma, based on concerns about who else may get access to their data and at with what outcome. With value chains spanning multiple (international) stakeholders from different industries, it is also extremely time-consuming and complex to create visibility on emissions beyond tier 1.
This is worsened by the fact that today’s technology systems are not set up for the task. Most enterprise resource planning systems do not allow for the exchange of emissions data with other systems (and across company boundaries). As a result, organizations resort to surveys or spreadsheets which require a significant manual effort.
Some organizations are seeking to resolve this by using new GHG accounting technology and data exchange platforms. While this constitutes an important step in the right direction, these solutions lack one essential feature: interoperability, i.e., the ability to connect to one another, exchange information and understand the information exchanged. In practice, this means organizations can only access each other’s data if they use the same technology solution. This would be akin to being able to send emails only to people with the same email provider – unimaginable.
What we are doing
What is needed is an open and global network of interoperable solutions for the secure, peer-to-peer exchange of accurate, primary and verified product emissions data — across all industries and value chains.
The Pathfinder Network seeks to provide the necessary network infrastructure. In the simplest of terms, we aim is to create the “internet for emissions data” – the common nexus for all organizations to seamlessly connect, exchange and derive insights from emissions data, setting them up to decarbonize at the scale needed.
Exemplary network value chain showing flow of data