Suppliers are key to reducing company carbon emissions

Posted on: Friday, 10 August 2012 by Rachael Dillon in category Environment

This week, I heard that Unilever and DHL are extending an existing partnership to improve their sustainability and reduce carbon emissions. The new plan team will see the two companies work together to ensure they are delivering on both Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan and DHL's GOGREEN initiative. Their particular focus is on cutting emissions, enhancing efficiencies across the supply chain, and reducing waste levels. They are also expecting to look at how green transport technologies such as electric or alternative fuel vehicles could be used to reduce the environmental footprint of supply chains.

Key to achieving Unilever and DHL’s ambitions is to ensure that their suppliers are taking steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve their environmental performance. So how you ever thought about how your operations impact on those along the supply chain? By coincidence, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international reporting scheme for companies has recently reported that there has been a surge in participants of its Supply Chain Program this year. More than 6,000 suppliers along the supply chains of 54 companies were invited to participate in the program, which works with companies to track and improve supplier operations as they relate to sustainability and climate change. The CDP publishes the carbon footprint of the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford, Philip Electronics and Marks and Spencer. CDP reports that the importance of sustainable practices is growing along supply chains especially as identifying carbon emissions can also show where efficiency can be improved and cost reductions made.

UK Mandatory GHG reporting regulations to be introduced from next April for all quoted companies will also inevitably get more businesses thinking about their emissions. So if you are supplying transport to customers, are you expected to report your emissions or if not have you thought about how you can show your green credentials. One way of showing commitment to the carbon agenda is to join the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme, a free initiative that is managed by FTA. More than 60 companies, large and small have already committed to recording and reporting their transport emissions through this scheme, why don’t you? 

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