08 May 2008 | Jake Kanter
Just over a quarter of suppliers have established targets to reduce their carbon emissions, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has revealed.
The independent not-for-profit organisation, whose members include Cadbury Schweppes, Dell and Prudential, surveyed 144 UK suppliers. It found 74 per cent had no goals for cutting emissions, although 96 per cent see potential carbon reduction regulations as a risk to their business.
The risks they identified included government imposed caps and taxations on carbon emissions, as well as rising energy and material costs.
In addition, 48 per cent said their business had already felt the tangible effects of climate change, as weather patterns disrupted supplies.
The survey, in 22 sectors including IT, food and packaging, was carried out as the first phase of the CDP's Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration programme. The project aims to measure the carbon footprint of its members.
Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the CDP, said buyers must engage with vendors on the issue as a first step to cutting emissions in their supply chain. After that, suppliers can work on strategies to manage emissions.
He said savings could be made if suppliers combined production processes to make them more efficient or tackled the fossil fuels they burn. "The climate change issue is never going to go away. I have been working in this field for eight years and every year it has got bigger."
Philip Emsley, director and chief operating officer of carbon management consultancy Green 2020, urged buyers to ensure vendors are fully ingrained in their environmental policy. "It's important for buyers to remember, a greener supply chain is also a more cost-effective one."