Tesla has released its 2022 Impact Report, and with it comes a clear picture of the electric vehicle company’s carbon footprint. This marks the first time the company has revealed its supply chain emissions, making its overall carbon footprint more prominent than previously reported.
Last year, Tesla did disclose the amount of greenhouse gas pollution generated from direct operation and customers charging their EVs. This accounted for the equivalent of around 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
What Tesla didn’t mention was considered indirect emissions, which often count for a substantial portion of a company’s carbon footprint.
In 2022’s Impact Report it was revealed that the EV company produced the equivalent of roughly 30.7 million tons of carbon dioxide through its supply chain emissions.
That’s 28.2 million tons more than reported last year without including indirect emissions.
A company’s carbon footprint is often broken down into three Scopes. The first is direct emissions from its own facilities, the second is emissions from its electricity use, such as heating and cooling, and the third is all other indirect emissions from supply chains, including the lifecycle of the products a company makes.
It’s not uncommon for companies to only release Scopes 1 and 2, making carbon footprints seem smaller. Tesla followed this practice initially, as its Scope 1 and 2 emissions only add up to around 610,000 metric tons of CO2 last year.
This practice could be coming to an end, however. The SEC proposed rules last year that would not only force all public companies to share their Scope 1 and 2 emissions, but large companies would also be required to report their indirect Scope 3 emissions in some instances. The new rule was slated to be enforced in October of 2022 but has since been delayed.
CEO Elon Musk revealed a self-titled “Master Plan” for Tesla last month, which included reaching “sustainable energy for all of the earth,” so hopefully, he’s able to include lowering his own company’s carbon footprint into the plan as well.
The first line of Tesla’s 2022 Impact Report reads, “A Sustainable Future is Within Reach.” Now, with the company’s official emission numbers having been revealed, the question becomes, is that sustainable future as close as Tesla thinks?
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