Supply chain emission reporting on the rise

8 October 2009

9 October 2009 | Jake Kanter

UK companies have "significantly increased" the reporting of emissions released by vendors in their supply chain, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

The not-for-profit organisation's annual review of FTSE-350 firms found total "scope three" carbon output - which covers greenhouse gases produced by the supply chain or caused by business travel - reached 2.87 billion tonnes in 2009.

This was 12 per cent more than in the same period last year. The increase in reporting was mainly the result of advances in tracking and management of emissions. The energy sector was the biggest indirect polluter, accounting for 45 per cent of total supply chain carbon output.

Speaking at the launch of the report yesterday, environment secretary Hilary Benn said he expects to see further private sector improvement on measuring indirect emissions in future. He also championed video-conferencing technology as a means of reducing greenhouse gases associated with business travel.

CDP chief executive Paul Dickinson told SM buyers are now tougher on supplier emissions because it can help reduce costs in the economic downturn. "Procurement has a duty to look under the hood and see how much supplier energy use costs so it can identify more efficient manufacturing processes," he said.

Among the firms leading the way in reporting emissions were National Grid, Royal Dutch Shell and Tesco. The CDP received 236 responses from FTSE-350 firms and said the standard of emission reporting had increased dramatically over the past four years.

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