Primary Data Sharing: 3 Reasons For Sustainable Enterprises To Increase It

Scope 3 emissions

Blog by Lavanya Pawar
Published on July 28, 2023

In today’s environmentally conscious landscape, sustainable enterprises stand as beacons of responsible business practices. They are committed not only to minimizing their carbon footprint but also to catalyzing a sustainable future. Increasing primary data share within their systems is a pivotal step toward that end. This move holds the key to precise carbon footprint calculation, effective risk management, competitive edge establishment, and potential cost savings. In this blog post, we will delve into three compelling reasons why sustainable enterprises should prioritize amplifying primary data sharing within their operational frameworks.

1. Primary data sharing for Demand Fulfillment

There are mainly two types of demands:

  • Regulatory Demands
  • Customer Demands

TfS companies such as BASF and Clariant have developed tools for automation of PCF calculation for their portfolio of products, which consists of up to 45,000 products. Why is it that these companies are investing so much in PCF calculation? Firstly, TfS, as an association, has given clear signals with PCF guidelines that primary data is the way forward. Therefore, leading members of TfS have shown stewardship by gearing themselves up with tools to calculate PCF data, which they can share with their customers. The sharing of data also holds true when these same TfS companies assume the role of customers for other chemical manufacturers.

Since the quality of the PCF data they calculate depends on the primary data shared by their suppliers, customers will urge them to calculate and share PCF data. In such a case, whether a TfS company or not, suppliers will have to share PCF data with their customers. Apart from TfS, regulatory pressure is fast moving away from mere disclosures to more ‘accurate’ and ‘primary’ disclosures.

The newly released ISSB disclosure guidelines state that ‘the entity shall prioritize, with all else being equal, the use of primary data.’ Notice the use of the words’shall’ and ‘primary data’.

Moreover, with SBTi Scope 3 targets in view, it is impossible to showcase a decrease in emissions from the base year unless enterprises use primary data from suppliers. Thus, in order to achieve their targets, customers will ask their suppliers to provide PCF data. In this way, regulatory and customer demands are intertwined and on the path to a rapid surge when it comes to primary PCF data.

Reasons to increase primary data share in your system

2. Primary data sharing for risk management

The second compelling rationale for boosting primary data share within sustainable enterprises revolves around the dynamic realm of risk management and competitive strength. In a world increasingly attuned to ecological imperatives, the petrochemical supply chain is under scrutiny due to its carbon-intensive nature. Chemicals used in this industry, often derived from petroleum, are prime candidates for replacement with low-carbon alternatives.

By delving deep into primary data sharing, sustainable enterprises can scrutinize their petrochemical supply chain, pinpointing vulnerable junctures that might be swapped with low-carbon substitutes. This proactive approach not only hedges businesses against potential risks stemming from resource scarcity or evolving regulations but also engenders innovation opportunities. Companies that adeptly navigate the shift towards low-carbon alternatives can carve out a distinctive competitive advantage, capturing the attention and loyalty of discerning consumers seeking products aligned with their sustainable values.

3. Primary data sharing for increasing data cost

It is clear that the demand for product carbon footprint data is going to increase. Enterprises have two ways to do this:

  1. They use industry-average databases to calculate PCFs
  2. They engage with their suppliers and get primary data 

Enterprises have traditionally taken option 1 to calculate the PCFs of a select few of their products. In such cases, the volume of background or secondary data required was low. Now that enterprises are required to do PCF calculations for almost all of their product portfolios, the volume of secondary data required would increase exponentially. Secondly, the cost of such data is high, despite the fact that it is not even accurate. As more products are added to the portfolio, the cost of calculating PCFs will keep increasing.

Now consider the case of option 2. The cost of getting data with all the positive attributes of being primary and accurate through platforms such as Carboledger is very minuscule as compared to the cost of secondary data. There are also a host of positive externalities that are associated with this exchange with suppliers. Enterprises can have an open communication channel based on data with their suppliers and use it to influence them to become more sustainable in the long run. Furthermore, a data-driven approach founded on accurate primary data allows sustainable enterprises to optimize their workflows and unearth avenues for operational efficiency. Over time, these efficiency gains translate into substantial cost savings.


In conclusion, prioritizing the sharing of primary data within sustainable enterprises is essential for several reasons. The demand for accurate carbon footprint data is growing due to regulatory and customer pressures, making primary data vital. Additionally, focusing on primary data allows businesses to manage risks by identifying areas in their supply chain that can be replaced with low-carbon alternatives, fostering innovation and competitive advantage. Moreover, choosing primary data over costly secondary sources reduces expenses and facilitates transparent communication with suppliers, ultimately leading to operational efficiency and long-term savings. Embracing primary data sharing is not just a tactical move but a strategic necessity that positions sustainable enterprises for success in a future defined by environmental awareness and responsible practices.

At Carboledger, we’re dedicated to supporting companies in their journey towards sustainability within the chemical industry. Our core mission is to empower businesses with the tools and insights they need to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance their environmental impact. Within our secure network, enterprises can seamlessly access, share, and manage supplier-specific data that is globally compliant. This streamlines the handling of data requests from multiple customers through a single, user-friendly platform while ensuring that businesses retain complete control over their information

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