At a Glance
Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Alaine Johnson worked with AppHarvest to create the company’s first greenhouse gas accounting inventory and establish a Scope 3 baseline.
AppHarvest is a sustainable food company in Central Appalachia growing tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in at-scale high-tech indoor farms, also known as controlled environment agriculture (CEA), designed to grow produce leveraging sunshine and rainwater. AppHarvest is committed to sustainability and establishing a roadmap to Net Zero. AppHarvest enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Alaine Johnson to establish their environmental footprint and quantify an emissions baseline with a focus on Scope 3 emissions.
To fully understand the value chain and operations of AppHarvest’s activities, including upstream and downstream impacts, Johnson visited three of AppHarvest’s offices and farms to understand the CEA process and collect sustainability and consumption data. Johnson identified the need for standardized reporting processes and metrics, particularly in procurement for purchased goods and services. After receiving requested data from procurement, growers, development, suppliers and HR, Johnson identified the greatest contributors to AppHarvest’s Scope 3 emissions and presented the initial version of the greenhouse gas accounting inventory with solutions to reduce emissions from material categories.
With the first iteration of AppHarvest’s greenhouse gas inventory completed by Johnson, AppHarvest has clear numbers for the largest contributors to its Scope 3 footprint across its operations in Kentucky. This baseline is the first, essential step to implement goals for carbon reductions and determine a timeline for reaching net zero emissions. The disclosure of emissions is also mandatory by Securities and Exchange Commissions Guidelines for public companies beginning in 2023, so Johnson’s calculations are required for this reporting and disclosure in future years and as AppHarvest grows in size.