06 February 2006 | Helen Gilbert
Purchasers can help suppliers reduce harmful carbon emissions and cut bottom line costs, research by the Carbon Trust has revealed.
The report, The Carbon Emissions In All That We Consume, urges businesses to take a "wider supply chain approach" to reducing wasteful energy usage.
Euan Murray, strategy manager at the Carbon Trust, said many businesses are increasing efforts to minimise energy use in their own operations but they need also to look back down the supply chain at supplier' emissions.
He said: "If I can help my supplier cut emissions and save money that they spend on energy, there's a real financial incentive as well as a corporate social responsibility incentive.
"Suppliers could reduce emissions by controlling warehouse temperatures and [ensure] staff are trained properly to switch off computers at night."
The Trust, which works with UK business and the public sector to cut carbon emissions and develop low carbon technologies, is currently trialling two pilots with industry contacts and their supply chains to see how well this approach works. Results will be published in a couple of months.