Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e)

The Decarbonizing Industrial Supply Chain Energy (DISC-e) program uses the collective power of large consumers to accelerate the market for low-carbon industrial commodities that use carbon-free energy.

The Clean Energy Buyers Institute’s DISC-e program advances climate goals by tackling industrial sector emissions through the power of the private sector market. Industrial emissions are a primary driver of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions growth, some of the most difficult emissions to address, and are critical to achieving a global zero-carbon energy system.

The DISC-e program organizes large consumers with Scope 3 GHG commitments to create demand-signals that reverberate down supply chains. Collectively, these companies can make a meaningful impact through a clear market signal for low-carbon industrial commodities.

To learn more or support the DISC-e initiative, email communications@cebi.org.

Current DISC-e Focus Area:

Aluminum

Building demand for low-carbon Solar

Solar installations are expected to grow significantly over the upcoming decade. The DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook forecasts that new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations will triple by 2030, and with rapid growth comes increasing scrutiny of the carbon found in the solar supply chain. Although the energy produced by solar energy is free of emissions, the extraction of raw materials, sourcing, and manufacturing is not. The DISC-e Solar Supply Chain group will establish low-carbon norms before the market expands further and proactively navigate the challenge that the industry faces if it does not address its own supply chain.

The Low-carbon Solar Primer raises awareness of the need and opportunity to decarbonize the solar PV supply chain and introduces actionable items energy customers can implement to send market signals for low-carbon solar PV. The content includes:

  • An issue analysis of embodied carbon emissions in solar PV
  • The business case for companies to prioritize low-carbon solar PV procurement
  • Steps energy customers can take now to positively influence the solar PV supply chain

Building demand for low-carbon Building Materials

A graphic demonstraiting embodied carbon in the building materials supply chain.

Building materials are one of the largest sources of embodied carbon, half of which is related to the two largest individual industrial commodities, steel and concrete. Market action to procure lower-carbon building materials can lock-in significant carbon reductions for decades to come. As in other areas of the transition to a zero-carbon future, the private sector has an outsized leadership opportunity to accelerate the adoption of related tools, strategies, and policies across the sector through procurement activities.

Building demand for low-carbon Aluminum

A graphic demonstrating embodied carbon in the aluminum supply chain.

Aluminum is a critical material for the technologies driving the clean energy transition, like PVs, electric vehicles, and batteries, and touches all major sectors of the modern economy. Momentum is growing to decarbonize this industrial commodity with a need and opportunity to align on a unified demand-side signal to the market for low-carbon aluminum. Unlike some of the other harder-to-abate industrial sectors, a large percentage of aluminum emissions come from electricity. As such, the transition to carbon-free energy for a substantial portion of aluminum emissions can be achieved with the technology that exists today.


CEBI Low-Carbon Solar Resources

Low-Carbon Solar Primer

An introduction to solar PV supply chain challenges and the opportunity for energy customers to take action
now toward decarbonization

Letter of Intent

A letter for suppliers to signal energy customers’ collective intent to prioritize embodied carbon in solar PV procurement

RFP Guidance

An overview of how to integrate low-carbon solar preferences into procurement documents

Embodied Carbon Analysis

An overview of key embodied carbon analysis terminology and documentation, along with existing national frameworks

An Introduction to Low-Carbon Solar

Download a suite of educational materials for stakeholders along the solar supply chain to consider the impact of embodied carbon emissions.

Low-carbon Building Materials Procurement Principles

The Low-carbon Building Materials Procurement Principles were developed by the CEBI DISC-e initiative in partnership with Building Transparency’s ownersCAN members. The Principles are aligned with ownerCAN’s Embodied Carbon Action Plan (ECAP), an in-depth resource detailing specific actions along all phases of embodied carbon in buildings.  

Buildings account for roughly 40% of global emissions and as the built environment continues to grow more than half of emissions will occur before a new building is even operational. Building owners and tenants can reduce emissions in their building projects by communicating with their supply chains by prioritizing low-carbon building materials in procurement practices. 

Low-carbon Building Materials Procurement Principles

Download an in-depth resource of directional statements focused on upfront embodied carbon intended to inform decisions and collaboration among building development stakeholders.

Resource Library

In support of its mission to solve the toughest market and policy barriers to achieve a carbon-free energy system, the Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) has created a clearinghouse of resources for organizations interested in the advancement of clean energy.

Past Events


CEBA Connect: 2022 Spring Summit Beyond Scope 2: Strategies and Tools for Low-carbon Buildings

May 18, 2022

Learn about the challenges and opportunities around low-carbon building materials procurement and a proposed “Beyond Scope 2” training to expand the set of companies tackling this issue to reduce their supply chain emissions.


Low-carbon Solar Community of Practice Sessions

Meeting Monthly starting Tuesday October 26 at 12 PM ET

The Low-carbon solar community of practice is comprised of energy customers and other stakeholders along the solar PV supply chain who are seeking to optimize the environmental impact of new solar installations and support low-carbon growth of the market. Click here to learn more about this community of practice.


Tools for Decarbonized Building Materials

March 1 at 3 PM ET

A workshop to review and refine arguments for prioritizing low-carbon building materials, including the risks of inaction. While this interactive session built on an earlier workshop, no prior participation was needed.

Procuring low-carbon materials for building projects is essential to reduce global emissions and meet many scope 3 goals. Attendee input will contribute to a free, public tool that can be utilized by sustainability and procurement teams to drive internal conversations and build the business case for low-carbon building material procurement practices.


Making the Business Case for Decarbonized Building Materials

January 25 & 26, 2022

Building materials alone are responsible for 11% of global energy-related emissions and the equivalent of New York City is being constructed every month. As operational emissions continue to fall, lowering embodied carbon will be key to meeting emission reduction and many scope 3 goals. In this interactive workshop, attendees will quickly run through an exercise to illuminate key topics that can drive internal stakeholder conversations and build the business case for decarbonized building material procurement.


Sectoral Pathways to Decarbonize Aluminum

December 14, 2021

Aluminum is a critical material for the technologies that underlie a zero-carbon future (think: PV, batteries, EVs) and touches all major sectors of the modern economy. However, aluminum is still one of the top emitters of GHG emissions in need of decarbonization.

Join the Clean Energy Buyers Institute, Mission Possible Partnership and International Aluminum Institute to hear about the current status of the aluminum industry with regards to emissions, the industry’s trajectory and major pathways to emission reductions, and anticipated challenges the industry may face on the road to decarbonization. This webinar is designed to inform large aluminum buyers with Scope 3 GHG commitments who want to create zero-carbon demand-signals that will reverberate down their supply chains.


The Hidden Carbon in Solar PV

December 1, 2021

Renewable energy deployment is critical to decarbonizing the global economy and solar photovoltaics (PV) are part of that solution. However, while solar power produces clean energy, not all solar power is produced by clean energy. Solar photovoltaic (PV) buyers could help avoid an estimated 14-18 Gt of CO2 from being emitted over the next 20 years by raising the industry standard for low-carbon modules.

Join the Clean Energy Buyers Institute for an overview of our recently released Low-carbon Solar Primer and learn what your company can do to start sending signals to the market for low-carbon solar PV.


EPEAT 101: Using ecolabels to decarbonize the solar industry

September 1, 2021

Learn from Global Electronics Council (GEC) on a deep dive into EPEAT ecolabel. Hear from Debbie Graham-Clifford, Senior Manager at GEC and Dr. Parikhit Sinha, Senior Scientist of Sustainability Research at First Solar on the benefits and the registration process of EPEAT to help you on your ecolabel journey.


How companies can decarbonize steel in the renewable energy industry

August 28, 2021

Steel is the world’s most widely used material, one of the biggest emitters of CO2 globally, and can account for up to 50% of a renewable energy producer’s supply chain emissions. Hear from SteelZero, United States Steel, and Orsted to learn more about how companies can work to decarbonize the steel industry using collective action from demand side voices.


REBA Connect: Virtual Member Summit Power of Corporate Engagement in Deep Decarbonization

May 13, 2021

Ambitious climate action commitments and attention to scope 3 emissions continues to increase across the private and public sectors. However, emissions from industrial commodities deep in an organization’s supply chain are difficult to address alone.  Learn how collective corporate action has the potential to move these markets and send a clear signal that there is an urgent need and market for zero-carbon industrial commodities.


Clean Energy Buyers Institute Aluminum Workshop

June 16, 2021

This workshop is for large aluminum buyers with Scope 3 GHG commitments who want to a create zero-carbon demand-signal that will reverberate down their supply chains. Collectively, we believe that these companies can make a meaningful impact that is greater than the sum of individual efforts alone. This unified demand will send a clear signal that there is an urgent need and market for low-carbon aluminum.


REBA Connect: Virtual Member Summit Power of Corporate Engagement in Deep Decarbonization

May 13, 2021

Ambitious climate action commitments and attention to scope 3 emissions continues to increase across the private and public sectors. However, emissions from industrial commodities deep in an organization’s supply chain are difficult to address alone.  Learn how collective corporate action has the potential to move these markets and send a clear signal that there is an urgent need and market for zero-carbon industrial commodities.


How Companies Can Act Now to Procure Low-Carbon Building Materials

Recorded on February 23, 2021

Meghan Lewis, senior researcher at the Carbon Leadership Forum, Stacy Smedley, executive director at Building Transparency, and Katie Ross, senior sustainability program manager of real estate and facilities at Microsoft, discuss key principles of related corporate policy and how to leverage the free online tool, Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3), to benchmark and reach embodied carbon reduction targets in new construction. Katie walks us through a real world example of how Microsoft has integrated corporate policy and the use of the EC3 tool into their operations.