Diageo aims to cut carbon emissions across its supply chain by 30 per cent by 2020

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
22 April 2015

Drinks maker Diageo has set a target to reduce its own carbon emissions by 50 per cent and those from across its supply chain by 30 per cent by 2020.

Joe Maguire, global sustainability manager at Diageo, told a conference that work to hit the first target included improving energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy projects, such as two of its sites in Canada that use methane gas captured from landfill sites.

Speaking at the Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference in London, Maguire said Diageo worked with carbon reduction organisation CDP to encourage suppliers to reduce emissions, though it did not mandate that suppliers engage with the process.

He said out of 152 key suppliers, 42 per cent had set reduction targets, but concerning the supplier base in general he said: “There are suppliers who just don’t want to know."

During a discussion of the challenges posed by climate change and global supply chains, Laura Palmeiro, corporate social responsibility director at Danone, said most of the firm’s carbon emissions came from its supply chain.

“Everything that’s agricultural accounts for more than 50 per cent of our CO2 emissions,” she said.

“To make our business more sustainable we have no choice but to communicate and work with the main actors in our supply chain.”

Palmeiro said agriculture and raising livestock were the main reasons for deforestation. “They are very much linked to the business of Danone,” she said, adding they had a target to eliminate deforestation from the supply chain by 2020 and “contribute to reforestation”.

Concerning mandating suppliers, she said: “It’s not a black or white decision, it’s about how we can work together. They ask for collaboration because they see the advantages of this, not just with us but with their other customers.”

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