Multinationals join supply chain reporting project

25th March 2013

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  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Management/saving



Eurostar and GSK are among leading businesses that have signed up to work with sustainability data sharing firm Ecodesk to develop business cases for tackling scope 3 emissions

Ecodesk estimates that companies listed on the London Stock Exchange could make £3 billion in efficiency savings during 2013 if their suppliers accurately measured and reported their environmental impacts.

The firm has launched its global supply chain innovator programme, through which it aims to work with 50 large companies to encourage up to 500 of their key suppliers to report on energy and water use, carbon emissions and waste output.

Ecodesk will then produce a business case detailing the efficiencies and cost savings possible across each supply chain, alongside the environmental benefits. Organisations that have joined the project in addition to Eurostar and pharmaceutical giant GSK include international publishing business Reed Elsevier, and facilities management companies MITIE and OCS.

Calculating scope 3 emissions is a daunting prospect for firms, acknowledges Robert Clarke, chief executive of Ecodesk. “Many suppliers are already undergoing various compliance initiatives so the last thing they want is another massive questionnaire to fill out,” he said.

“Entering data into Ecodesk is simple. Businesses can then quickly build a picture of supply chain energy use and start to identify cost savings and efficiencies. Sustainability through the value chain has a resounding benefit in terms of profitability, business continuity and risk management.”

In 2011, Eurostar pledged to cut the carbon footprint of its entire operations, including scope 3 emissions, by 25% by 2015. On joining the Ecodesk scheme, Peter Bragg, the firm’s head of environment and energy, said: “We have several thousand suppliers, so you can imagine the potential savings that could be delivered if everyone measured, reported and improved their energy use.”

Lynda Simmons, head of sustainability at MITIE, explained the facilities management firm’s planned approach: “Our suppliers will be linked to our e-procurement portal to record their emissions management, as well as access tools and information to enhance their sustainability agenda and facilitate a more robust scope 3 reporting model for our supply chain.”

Research published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in February revealed that suppliers’ efforts to cut carbon emissions lag far behind that of their multinational clients.

The results of the CDP’s annual supply chain survey of its members, which include Jaguar Land Rover and Unilever, confirmed that less than 40% of the 2,363 suppliers polled had carbon reduction targets in place, compared with 92% of their clients, and just 27% of suppliers were investing in carbon-cutting measures.

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