Do you know the carbon footprint of your supply chain?

By Lucy Dixon
Does your business assess – and manage - carbon emissions across its supply chain operations? CDP – the NGO holding the most comprehensive...

Does your business assess – and manage - carbon emissions across its supply chain operations?

CDP the NGO holding the most comprehensive set of global corporate environmental data – has just published the methodology behind the first ever system to assess how companies manage carbon and climate change across their supply chains.

It’s an important progression when you consider that supply chains are responsible for up to four times the greenhouse gas emissions of a company’s direct operations.

In 2016, 89 organisations – including global retailer Metro Group and the US Department of the Navy – requested data from over 8,300 suppliers worldwide through CDP’s supply chain program, which asks companies in the supply chain to report on their environmental performance via an annual questionnaire. 

Companies scoring the highest on supplier engagement on climate issues will be named in the annual CDP supply chain report, released in January 2017. In subsequent years, the report will also list those companies failing to manage carbon and climate change in their supply chains.

Régine Lucas, Chief Procurement Officer, L’Oréal, commented: “Like any company taking climate change seriously, we understand the importance of knowing what’s going on in the supply chain, both in terms of environmental impact and safeguarding future prosperity. At L’Oréal, fighting climate change is one of our priorities, in line with our long-standing tradition of responsibility. With our ambitious sustainable development programme Sharing Beauty With All, we continue to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

“We look forward to being scored by CDP on our supplier engagement. By showcasing examples of best practice, the CDP rating will spur us to work even more closely with our suppliers and continue driving down emissions in the supply chain.”

The CDP supplier engagement rating will score all companies that disclose to the 2016 CDP supply chain questionnaire, with over 4,000 companies having disclosed in 2015.  CDP supply chain members (purchasing organisations that request data from their suppliers via CDP) that themselves disclose to the supply chain or climate change questionnaire will also be evaluated on supplier engagement. 

Scores will be given based on performance across four key areas related to governance, ambition, measurement and supplier engagement. 

Dexter Galvin, Head of CDP’s supply chain program, said: “Purchasing organisations have the potential to galvanise significant environmental changes in their supply chain but we know that not enough companies are engaging with their suppliers on GHG emissions and climate change strategies.

“By shining a light on whether companies are taking responsibility for the emissions hidden in their supply chains, we hope to spur on the laggards and drive a race to the top.  This in turn will result in more sustainable supply chains, helping companies to significantly reduce the size of their carbon footprint.”

The rating system, which is the first of its kind, will provide a tool for groups wishing to compare company performance on targeting carbon emissions in the supply chain.

Gartner, the US-based information technology research and advisory company, will incorporate CDP’s supplier engagement rating into its own future assessments of corporate supply chains. 

Supply Chain Digital's September issue is now live. 

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