Suppliers' CO2 cuts lag behind

2nd February 2012


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  • Supply chain ,
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  • Procurement ,
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IEMA

Big businesses are being urged to do more to support their supply chains' sustainability efforts, after survey reveals 15% gap in the number of firms successfully cutting emissions

According to the latest survey from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), 43% of the multinational companies participating in its supply chain programme have reduced their carbon footprint, but only 28% of their suppliers have done so.

The CDP’s 2011 survey of firms such as Vodafone, Pepsico and BT, reveals that while more are incorporating procurement into climate change strategies (90% of respondents, up from 79% in 2010) and more are offering suppliers incentives to cut their emissions (62%, up from 28% in 2010), fewer than 25% are actively helping their suppliers to identify the cost savings and revenue generated by their emissions cuts.

It also shows that despite 35% of responding companies financially benefiting from the carbon-reduction efforts of their suppliers, only 20% say they have put a monetary value on supply-chain initiatives.

The failure of companies to help their suppliers understand the business benefits of cutting carbon through greater energy and resource efficiency, will hamper their efforts to lower their scope three emissions and, potentially, future growth, argues the CDP.

“Those companies that are able to use this information to create sustainable, profitable growth through climate-resilient and emissions-efficient supply chains will be better positioned to capture market opportunities in the long term,” commented Gary Hanifan, global sustainability lead for supply chain at consulting firm Accenture, which co-authored the report.

Frances Way, program director for CDP, said the survey results confirm that while firms are evolving, carbon-efficient supply chains are some way off.

“Such a large shift in companies’ procurement models is encouraging but since these trends are only now emerging, we are yet to see a transformational impact on suppliers’ emissions,” she said.

As well as better communicating the value of cutting carbon, the CDP’s report concludes that big business must improve how they measure emissions reductions and tighten procurement requirements.

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