21 July 2008 | Jake Kanter
Buyers must find a better balance between the need to collect and report data on carbon emissions and "overburdening" suppliers with requests for information.
The call comes in a study published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and IBM. It examined the techniques CDP members such as Tesco and Unilever use to collect information.
The report found collecting data on carbon emissions was more complicated than a "box ticking" exercise, with benchmarks on the level of emissions between different industries, and even companies within the same sectors, often changing.
Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the CDP, said collecting emissions data was a challenge and organisations must act early to put systems in place.
Contracts could also contain provisions for reporting and promoting collaboration.
In addition, the report urged buyers to develop and implement performance indicators for suppliers. Other initiatives included requesting more detailed energy bills from property landlords and utility firms, or offering vendors rewards for providing data.