New project tracks supply chain emissions
Carbon reduction innovators have devised a new initiative to measure and rate the greenhouse gas output of large companies’ supply chains.
A joint venture between FirstCarbon Solutions, pioneers of environmental sustainability solutions, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the solution will provide scores on companies’ disclosed greenhouse gas emissions. Using this data supplied by FirstCarbon, the companies’ will then be rated on their carbon management strategies submitted to CDP Supply Chain, a program which works with global companies to measure and understand the impacts on climate change across their supply chain.
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As climate change and sustainability reporting becomes increasingly important to consumers, shareholders and stakeholders, it is more important to create and accurate and comprehensive carbon management inventory. This is challenging, according to CDP, who claimed in their 2011 Supply Chain Report that more than half of the average corporation’s total carbon emission comes from the supply chain rather than operations. The CDP Supply Chain program aims to tackle that challenge, moving beyond the measurement of direct greenhouse gas emissions to include climate change risks and opportunities across the supply chain.
FirstCarbon acts as CDP Supply Chain’s scoring partner, evaluating information provided by participating suppliers which is then used to determine the company’s performance score. Upon request, FirstCarbon Solutions will also provide participating suppliers a summary report with more details regarding their score and additional insights and analysis into the scoring of their submission.
The scores allow 54 CDP Supply Chain members (including Vodafone, Pepsico and Walmart) and their suppliers to benchmark performance, examine practices and develop year-on-year performance improvements based on the sustainability scorecards developed by FirstCarbon.
James Donovan, President and CEO of FirstCarbon Solutions said: "Today, more companies are pursuing strategies and CSR reporting practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our proven data management and carbon accounting expertise provides CDP Supply Chain participants with standard, practical scoring information that is easy to use and digest and fosters the transparency required for effective carbon management across the supply chain."
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.