Reducing carbon footprints in the supply chain
In many ways, a company is only as green as its supply chain. But how in the world do you control that? Not an easy question to answer, but a good place to start would be measuring the footprint of your supply chain as it currently stands. After all, what gets measured can be managed.
Anyone who has looked at life cycle analysis (LCA) knows that the interconnections and interdependencies between companies and the many entities that they, their suppliers, and their employees interact with ultimately extend to the vanishing point. This infinity factor makes it virtually impossible to compute the footprint exactly, though “reasonable approximations” can certainly be made.
We have previously described efforts in this space by Walmart to set up a sustainability index that attempts to look at the entire supply chain’s impact. P&G is another company that has set up an ambitious effort to understand the size of the shadow it casts through its Supply Chain Scorecard project.
As a few companies at the head of the pack begin to work out their approach, these ideas are starting to coalesce in broader standards with the help of various NGO's.
For example, just last week the World Resources Institute announced the launch of two new supply chain carbon emission standards they partnered with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to release. These include the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) and Product Lifecycle Standards. The preamble to the Value Chain Standard states that, “global carbon dioxide emissions must be cut by as much as 85 percent below 2000 levels by 2050 to limit global mean temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” This is serious business. GHG Protocol provides the foundation for sustainable climate strategies and more efficient, resilient and profitable organizations, based on the most widely used accounting tools to measure, manage and report greenhouse gas emissions.