Tesla is renowned for setting big goals, and they have a pretty good record of hitting them, much to the surprise of analysts and doubters around the world. Master Plan Part 3 is the current approach, and while this includes car production numbers and innovative tech, it also includes the goals from the 2022 impact report.
Tesla brings a contrarian view to its impact reports, which is very much on-brand. Last year’s report didn’t hold back, savaging ESG data providers, and elevating Tesla’s environmental performance.
This year’s report outlines some solid progress. In 2022, Tesla customers avoided releasing about 13.4 million metric tons of CO2e. This is equivalent to taking 2.8 million cars off the road for a year.
The company’s new battery technologies, solar products, and energy storage have the potential to make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible, and to help communities become more resilient to climate change.
Tesla is using 100% renewable energy to power its global Supercharger Network, and is committed to sustainability throughout its entire supply chain.
On the topic of supply chain, this report plays catch-up in terms of transparency, and it shows that Tesla has HUGE scope 3 emissions and major negative impacts from mining precious metals. While Ford got an A grade for its climate change disclosures since 2019, Tesla earned an F from the CDP.
Tesla says its supply chain emissions have been undercounted in the past, due to a lack of data. “We recognize that we can no longer assume that a missing data point should equate to zero emissions,” the report says.
The production of Tesla’s Model 3 reportedly generates 1.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per vehicle. The energy used to manufacture Tesla vehicles comes from fossil fuels, renewable energy, and waste heat. But the majority of the energy used still comes from fossil fuels.
In 2022, Scope 1 and 2 emissions totaled 610,000 metric tons of CO2e, while its Scope 3 accounted for more than 30.1 million metric tons. This is equivalent to the emissions of 6.7 million passenger cars. The majority of Tesla’s Scope 3 emissions come from the production of its batteries. Tesla’s batteries are made with a variety of materials, including cobalt, nickel, and lithium. The mining and processing of these materials is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Mining of metals, like cobalt, have been linked to human rights abuses.
Tesla is working to reduce its Scope 3 emissions. The company is investing in new battery technologies that use less cobalt and nickel. Tesla is also working to source its battery materials from more sustainable sources. However, it will take time for Tesla to reduce its Scope 3 emissions significantly.