The Difficulty of Measuring Scope 3 Emissions

At its January 20th shareholder meeting, almost 70% of Costco’s shareholders voted yes on a proposal that calls on the company to set “short, medium, and long-term science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets” to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

When the proposal was first introduced, Costco’s board of directors opposed it. In a December 2021 statement, the company cited several reasons why it wanted shareholders to vote “no” on the proposal, including the difficulty of measuring and controlling Scope 3 emissions.

Last June, we asked members of our Indago supply chain research community — who are all supply chain and logistics executives from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies — “How difficult would it be to accurately calculate the carbon emissions of your imported goods?”

Watch this 4-minute video for some highlights from the survey results, as well as more details about Costco’s response to the shareholder proposal and the proposed European legislation that inspired our survey question.

For more data and insights on this topic, please download the Indago report (available to Indago members only). If you’re a supply chain or logistics professional from a manufacturing, retail, or distribution company, we invite you to join our Indago research community. It’s free, confidential, the time commitment is less than 4 minutes per week, and the best part — your participation benefits a variety of charities. To learn more and apply, please visit