Customer Stories - SES-imagotag

How Traace and Carbone 4 empowered retail leader SES-imagotag to manage its carbon footprint

The Company

Accelerating the digital transformation of the physical retail sector

SES-imagotag is a French company founded in 1990, listed on the stock exchange and today a world leader in digital technologies and solutions for physical retail actors.

The company markets smart Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs), shelf and inventory management software and IoT solutions designed to digitize physical retail. SES-Imagotag currently serves more than 350 major retail players worldwide, and has already deployed more than 350 million tags in over 35,000 stores.

SES-imagotag's mission is to accelerate the digital transformation of retail players by enabling them to ultra-connect their stores in order to improve management and offer seamless, omnichannel shopping experiences. For over 30 years, SES-Imagotag has been helping retailers to meet their key challenges, in particular that of developing a sustainable business for brands, distributors and consumers.


Promoting sustainable physical commerce

Supporting a physical retail market forced to perpetually re-invent itself to adapt to changing consumer habits (e-commerce, click-&-collect, drive-to-store, etc.), the group has been committed for many years to ESG issues in order to have a positive environmental and social impact, as well as to encourage the transition of its customers and partners towards "low-impact" business models.

The environmental impact and carbon footprint of the group's products and activities are today core business & strategic elements for the company. The decarbonization of products, and in particular Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) is the main thrust of SES-Imagotag's climate strategy. The group aims to contribute to the decarbonization of the retail sector as a whole, by reducing its scope 3 emissions, as well as those of its many customers.

In this context, SES-Imagotag wanted to be supported in:

Obtain a first expert and detailed measurement of the carbon footprint of its activity for the year 2021.

Become autonomous for future carbon measurements on all emission scopes, both in terms of tools and skills.

To be able to use in its carbon accounting the data and results from the LCAs of its products, and in particular its various electronic label models, the brand's main physical products.

Be able to monitor its carbon intensity (Kg CO2e / € sales) and thecarbon efficiency of its electronic labels(Kg CO2e / label).

Traace expertise

A platform that matches Carbone 4's methodological expertise

SES-Imagotag has selected Traace and specialist consultancy Carbone 4 to carry out an initial measurement of its carbon footprint for 2021, and to be able to identify its main decarbonization levers in order to make realistic commitments and build a concrete climate action plan.

Carbone 4 contributed its methodological expertise in carbon accounting and corporate climate strategies. Carbone 4 provided SES‑imagotag with a pragmatic and expert approach to obtain a carbon measurement that could be used over time, a critical analysis of existing data, and in particular of the LCAs of labels carried out in the past, as well as a plan to increase the skills and awareness of teams in order to ensure commitment and autonomy over time.

The methodological approach included the construction of a grid and a plan for the efficient collection of activity data, distinguishing between critical data to be collected precisely and data to be extrapolated. At the end of the data collection process, a consistency check was carried out on the orders of magnitude of the data collected, the emissions factors used and the extrapolation calculations carried out for unavailable data.

The Traace platform was selected for its ability to amplify data collection and carbon footprint analysis capabilities, all without detracting from the methodological expertise provided by Carbone 4. Indeed, Traace enabled SES-imagotag to collect activity data in an efficient and repeatable way, to integrate all the methodological finesse of advanced carbon accounting, to analyze in depth the results of the Bilan Carbone (by site, by emission item, by product, etc.) and finally to make it easy to use by SES-imagotag contributors.

Specific emissions factors have been integrated into the platform to incorporate pre-existing LCA data from SES-imagotag labels into the carbon measurement. This work has enabled us to identify the main Scope 3 emission items in detail, and to prioritize a concrete action plan for purchasing and production.

The results

Prioritize action based on a reliable, usable carbon analysis

After an assisted carbon measurement in 2021, the SES-Imagotag teams carried out their 2022 carbon footprint in complete autonomy on the Traace platform, updating specific emissions factors and particular calculation rules.

SES-Imagotag was thus able to analyze the carbon footprint of its activities in detail. For example:

➡️ Indirect emissions account for over 96% of SES-Imagotag's carbon footprint in 2022.

➡️ Purchases of raw materials account for 75% of the total carbon footprint.

➡️ Purchases of printed circuit boards account for 43% of the total carbon footprint.

➡️ Purchases ofLCS TFT displays, batteries and polymers are responsible for 27% of the total carbon footprint.‍

Based on these analyses and in order to reduce its impact, SES-imagotag has prioritized its efforts on decarbonizing its products by activating three main action levers:

➡️ intensification of its "Second Life" program promoting eco-design, product repairability and, more generally, the marketing of recycled labels.

➡️ sourcing new materials from low-carbon suppliers.

➡️ innovation to design battery-free and ever more resource-efficient products.

Regarding recycling, printed circuits, which today account for 43% of the Group's footprint, are fully reused during the second life of a label . As a result, the carbon footprint of second-life labels is significantly lower than that of new labels. According to the first hypothesis, the sale of "second-life" (recycled) electronic labels could reduce the label's carbon impact by 75%.

Confident in its ability to undertake major transformational actions, SES-imagotag has publicly committed to reducing its carbon footprint annually, improving its carbon efficiency and reducing the carbon intensity of its electronic labels by 40% by 2027 compared with the 2022 baseline year.

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