Envido Thinkpiece: Counting carbon in your supply chain

Understanding the ins and outs of your supply chain management -specifically your indirect carbon emissions- can be a mine field, and for good reasons.

Online PR News – 24-November-2009 – – However, don’t ignore the need to count your carbon emissions for fear of opening a can of worms -efforts by big and small companies to reduce the environmental impact of their activities are being driven by more than just ethical reasons- it makes clear business sense too.

Customers are becoming increasingly aware of green issues and are demanding products and services that meet stringent environmental requirements. In addition to rising energy costs, and the introduction of hard-hitting carbon reduction legislation, big business is also under pressure from ethical investors who want them to curb the damage they do to the environment. As a result, environmental policy and carbon reduction strategies are now at the top of the list of boardroom agendas.

With shareholders demanding that companies demonstrate their carbon credentials as part of their annual reporting, the same rigour that is applied to reporting on financial performance is now required when accounting for carbon emissions.

Leading organisations to incorporate carbon emissions reduction in their supply chain management

A recent report by McKinsey that examined consumer goods makers, high-tech companies and other manufacturers, found that 40 to 60 percent of their total carbon footprint resides upstream in their supply chain. Understanding the carbon emissions in your supply chain can help you identify and prioritise opportunities for reducing and mitigating the risks of increasing carbon emission regulation.

A successful carbon management strategy must have accurate metrics. Once you have measurable and accurate data on your carbon emissions, you can understand the financial implications of counting carbon emissions.

However, the unfortunate thing about measuring carbon emissions is that it isn’t as simple as checking a meter. Companies do a lot of work internally to curb their carbon emissions, for example, by installing sub metering, getting ISO 14001 certified, rolling out staff awareness programmes. But, to really implement a total carbon reduction strategy, companied must also use their influence as customers to encourage their suppliers to count carbon and reduce their carbon emissions also in the supply chain.

The big imperative for organizations to reduce their carbon emissions comes from present and future EU and UK environmental legislation that will compel many more organisations to count carbon and reduce their carbon emissions.

For example, UK law currently requires that all large public buildings such as libraries or council offices have to display energy performance certificates which will rate the buildings energy efficiency level and display energy certificates that show the actual energy usage. The forthcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) does not directly impact on a company’s supply chain management (or Scope 3 carbon emissions). Leading organisations will see this piece of legislation as a catalyst to accelerate their energy efficiency strategies and will want to broaden the scope of their carbon emissions reduction focus to incorporate the extended supply chain management and product innovation.

Whether it is getting to grips with your own carbon footprint, identifying what financial savings are achievable and how best to count carbon emissions in your extended supply chain, Envido can help you drive a strategic approach that should influence every corner of an organization.

Richard Morley, Director at Envido said “Envido has developed a programme to help you to fully understand and measure your Supply Chain Footprint. We can verify data on all environmental aspects of your business and analyse operational and supply chain impacts at a corporate, sector and product level”.

For a FREE consultation on how Envido can help you develop a sustainable supply chain management system that meets the requirements of your business, contact Envido today on 0207 1990 090 or email us at info@envido.co.uk