RILA, Optera Partner on Retail Product Emissions Reporting

New tool to enable consistent, comparable data

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Optera today announced a strategic partnership to create a new tool for scope 3, Category 11 Use of Sold Products emissions reporting. Guided by retail value chain and stakeholder experiences and needs, carbon management software firm Optera will develop the Direct-Use Product Emissions Database (DPED). The DPED design will help to fill current gaps in reporting and align how retailers measure, compare and communicate greenhouse gas emissions, specifically with regard to direct-use products like appliances, electronics and outdoor power equipment.

To set appropriate climate goals and report emissions as comparably and reliably as possible for stakeholders, retailers need improved access to the best available assumptions for how customers use energy-consuming products that are not currently U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified. The DPED solution, to be managed by Optera, will enable consistent and comparable scope 3 emissions reporting at a product category level to start, with the long-term goal of being a self-sustaining tool, useful to a variety of industries and use cases, with data down to an individual product level. 

“Retailers are natural competitors; but in certain cases, they recognize the value in collaborating, with the sole goal of moving the entire industry forward. With a shared commitment to mitigating climate risks, this is one of those instances,” said RILA Vice President, CSR Erin Hiatt. “The lack of consistent and comparable product use emissions data has been a longstanding challenge, and we’re excited to leverage Optera’s expertise in this field to develop a database solution to a key portion of this challenge.”

“For many retailers, the bulk of their greenhouse gas emissions come from consumers using the products they sell. From lawnmowers to kitchen appliances, retailers need a consistent way to evaluate the emissions impact of their products,” explained Tim Weiss, CEO of Optera. “We are thrilled to partner with RILA and the leading retailers on the advisory team to bring greater consistency and accountability to scope 3 accounting that will benefit and be accessible to not just RILA members and the retail industry, but any end user for whom this data gap is a challenge.”

As founding supporters of the initiative, Lowe’s and Target were among the nine RILA members who identified these scope 3, Category 11 challenges and opportunities in today’s reporting environment and are collaborating with industry peers and Optera on developing the tool.

“As Lowe’s worked to measure our Use of Sold Product data and offer more eco-friendly products to our customers, we quickly recognized the value of collaborating with other retailers,” said Chris Cassell, Lowe’s vice president, corporate sustainability. “By leveraging this new solution, as an industry, we have a chance to enhance accuracy and comparability to drive better decision-making and accelerate our progress in reducing value chain emissions.”

“Target's net zero ambition extends to reducing emissions across our value chain, and in turn supporting our suppliers in their decarbonization efforts,” said Agata Ramallo Garcia, VP of Sustainability at Target. “We're proud to support RILA and Optera's efforts to provide the information we and our partners need to better understand our emissions impact and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.” 

The DPED will be published in March 2024, in time for retailers to leverage the initial database for their next round of emissions reporting. 

With this proactive initiative, the retail industry again demonstrates its ongoing commitment to leadership in corporate sustainability while supporting suppliers and vendors in optimizing efficiency in reporting, not only to meet the demands of disclosure regulations but to help foster real gains in emissions reduction across retail value chains and beyond.
About RILA
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $2.7 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and hundreds of thousands of stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad. 

About Optera
Optera is the ESG software for bold climate action. Built on decades of sustainability expertise, Optera helps corporations worldwide reduce their environmental impact by providing credible carbon accounting for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, actionable insights and forecasts, and tools to collaborate with supply chain and investment partners. Our clients lead many of the world’s most established and ambitious corporate sustainability programs, from Dell and HPE to Grove Collaborative and Williams-Sonoma. Optera also partners with leading NGOs such as BSR, CDP, and the World Economic Forum to advance corporate ESG practices globally. Optera is registered as a Public Benefit Corporation in the State of Delaware.

  • Climate and Sustainability
  • Ensuring a Safe, Sustainable Future
  • Environmental Compliance
  • ESG Enterprise
  • Retail Sustainability
  • Sustainability & Environment

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