02-07-2024 12:48

MASSIV+: Cracking the code for measuring scope 3 emissions

A groundbreaking initiative by leading global companies including Microsoft, IKEA and Volvo Cars aims to revolutionise how industries report and validate their greenhouse gas emissions. Mats Lundberg, Head of Sustainability at Sandvik, explains how the MASSIV+ partnership is working to resolve the pain points of today’s emissions reporting structure and demystify the decarbonisation journey.
People in a circle with hands in the center

When it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the indirect emissions from an organisation’s value chain often make up the lion’s share of its total carbon footprint. Yet these “scope 3” emissions are often the most difficult to measure and abate. One group of companies has come together to take on the challenge. 

Sweden-based global corporates, including Sandvik, IKEA and Volvo Cars, formed MASSIV+ as a cross-industry partnership to drive a systematic and simplified process around collecting and validating emissions data. The goal? To set a new standard practice that makes it easy to be compliant when reporting GHG emissions throughout the value chain.

To find out more, we turned to Mats Lundberg, Head of Sustainability at Sandvik, a global engineering group and one of the companies participating in the MASSIV+ initiative.

What does corporate sustainability mean for Sandvik, and what does the strategy look like?

Our view on sustainability is deeply connected to business opportunities, focused on adding value and providing innovative sustainable solutions for our customers and society. We want to be a positive force in shaping the industries of the future, helping our customers make a sustainable transition in the areas of mining, rock processing and component manufacturing through the solutions we provide. Sandvik has committed to science-based targets for reducing GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, with 2019 as the base year, and to reduce absolute scope 3 emissions by 30%. Our commitment also includes becoming net zero by 2050.


What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) are measured in CO2-equivalents (CO2e) and divided into three different scopes, depending on how they are tied to an entity. 

Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions from sources controlled or owned by an organisation, such as a company’s buildings, facilities and vehicle fleet.

Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from the production of purchased energy, such as electricity, heating and cooling.

Scope 3: All other indirect GHG emissions in an organisation’s value chain, both upstream and downstream.


What are the main challenges you’re facing when it comes to emissions tracking and reporting, specifically regarding scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

The data quality of scope 1 and 2 is good and more mature in its reporting. On the other hand, the data for scope 3 takes many months to collect in a large, global corporation, and it’s simply not accurate enough. 

The emission factors used to calculate scope 3 are often generic and not specific, built on approximations and averages. Inflation and currency factors can have a significant impact. Depending on which supplier you use for your emission factor database, the output can differ on the same input. What’s more, the level of detail on what is invoiced is often lacking, making it impossible to assign the right emission factors, and leading to large errors. 

If you are in luck and get hold of the “actual” data, the quality and availability of the supplied data, both from upstream and downstream sources, are still uncertain. As a result, scope 3 data can be used to identify “hot spots,” but is not recommended for further use as of now.

Mats Lundberg, Head of Sustainability, Sandvik

How does MASSIV+ aim to solve the emissions measurement and tracking issues? 

MASSIV+ grew out of the ambition of solving the issue of inaccurate scope 3 data by finding a new way of calculating it, other than the traditional method of using emission factors. The basic idea is that if every actor in a value chain discloses their scope 1 and 2 emissions, it would be possible to derive the scope 3 emissions for all parties involved with much greater accuracy. Several Swedish companies share this vision and have come together in the MASSIV+ project. Microsoft is contributing with the technical knowledge, for example, on data sharing, and the other member companies are contributing with knowledge regarding GHG emissions data collection and the related challenges.

Do you see additional benefits arising from increased visibility, tracking and measuring of emissions beyond the reporting side? 

If every company would use the MASSIV+ methodology, sharing their scope 1 and 2 data, combined with blockchain to link the value chain, we would all get a much more accurate scope 3 value. This would enable us to almost instantly calculate our scope 3 emissions, in contrast to the months of painstaking work required today. We could potentially calculate our scope 3 emissions on a daily basis instead of annually. In an automated future, it would be possible to evaluate the progress on individual value chains related to a product, for example, if changes occur. You would be able to easily identify the hot spots and initiate collaboration on how to improve the footprint for that product. 

In a perfect world, what would the setup for emissions tracking look like?

Each company, or “beacon” in the context of blockchain, would collect its data on a product level and transparently share it in the ecosystem of beacons. Then blockchains ensure the calculation of accurate value-chain data. AI and advanced analytics are applied to the data. This data-driven approach improves current data, making it possible for companies to take action to mitigate their indirect emissions in specific value chains.


We wanted to show you a video but you cannot see it as you have not enabled cookies

Click here to update your consent

Companies in the MASSIV+ partnership

Alfa Laval
Volvo Cars


Potential uses of the MASSIV+ system

The system from the MASSIV+ project would have an array of potential uses, depending on the stakeholder. Here are a few examples:

  • A fund manager could improve the accuracy of its scope 3 calculations and risk assessments for assets included in a fund.
  • Shareholders could get a better understanding of the sustainability-related risks and opportunities of a company.
  • A company could get a better understanding of the state of the carbon footprint for a given product.
  • A company’s procurement team could get better insights into the CO2-related costs for specific suppliers and products.

Sign up for the Sustainable Finance Monthly newsletter

Stay on top of the latest developments in the fast-moving world of sustainable finance. Receive a curated monthly digest and occasional flash updates with the latest news, insights and data from our Sustainable Finance Advisory team.

Register here
After reading this article, is your perception of Nordea?