How retailers are helping suppliers cut carbon

17 December 2021

Morrisons is providing suppliers with software to help them track carbon emissions as part of plans to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in its supply chain.

The supermarket will initially offer 400 of its own-brand suppliers access to software platform Manufacture 2030. The tool will help suppliers to accurately measure, track and forecast their operational carbon emissions.

Morrisons said suppliers would be encouraged to reduce GHGs associated with the sourcing, manufacture and transportation of products. It hopes to achieve a 30% cut in supply chain scope three carbon emissions – indirect emissions from a company’s value chain – by 2030. 

Meanwhile, Walmart is introducing a scheme where the cost of supply chain finance is linked to a supplier’s efforts to cut carbon.

Morrisons will provide guidance for suppliers on reducing emissions via expert recommendations, monthly webinars and peer-to-peer problem solving. This will focus on operational emissions, energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation, and waste to landfill.

The supermarket will fund the cost of the tool, which will be rolled out to a wider group of suppliers in phases throughout next year.

Steve Butts, head of corporate services at Morrisons, said: “As Morrisons is vertically integrated – we manufacture more than half of the fresh food we sell – we’re in a unique position to be able to offer support to the industry.

“We expect that this programme will remove thousands of tonnes of carbon from our supply chain a year – to make it easier for our customers to reduce the footprint of their shopping baskets.”

Morrisons has brought forward its commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions in its own operations from 2040 to 2035.

Walmart's scheme, involving HSBC and reporting organisation CDP, allows private brand suppliers to set science-based targets or achieve certain CDP score thresholds to unlock more favourable supply chain finance terms.

Walmart said the scheme would particularly help SMEs access financing to make investments in making operations more sustainable.

Under Project Gigaton Walmart is aiming to cut one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain by 2030.

Surath Sengupta, global head of financial institutions, portfolio management and sustainability, global trade and receivables finance at HSBC, said: “On average, 80% of a company’s carbon footprint resides in its supply chain, which means delivering on scope three emissions won’t happen unless more is done to help small and medium-sized suppliers.

“This programme does just that and accelerates net zero transition.”

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