Less than a quarter of suppliers monitored on emissions by buyers

Less than a quarter (24%) of suppliers are monitored on carbon emissions despite buyer organisations’ green pledges, according to research.

The research, from Ivalua, found most organisations were not communicating across the supply chain to drive green initiatives and just 10% of suppliers said organisations always included sustainable practices in contracts and agreements.

The research involved a survey of 300 suppliers across the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland at companies providing materials, services or parts to large multinational companies. Respondents worked for companies in healthcare, financial services, retail, marketing, IT, manufacturing, energy, logistics, and tourism.

Ivalua said more needed to be done across the supply chain to regularly assess and measure green credentials. Only 22% of suppliers said they were measured routinely on air pollution, water pollution (21%) and deforestation (20%).

Three quarters (76%) of suppliers believed sustainability would give their organisation a competitive edge and 67% agreed buyers should collaborate more with suppliers on sustainability initiatives.

Many suppliers felt they were not equipped with the right procurement tools to help tackle climate change. Seven out of 10 (69%) said it should be made easier to collaborate with buyers on sustainability.

A third (35%) of suppliers believed improving their ability to share information and collaborate with buyers on improvements would significantly increase their ability to deliver green initiatives.

Ivalua said as part of the UK’s 2050 net zero pledges, UK businesses had to release detailed public plans to meet climate change targets by 2023. However, this shift towards accountability and transparency needed to include the supply chain.

Alex Saric, chief marketing officer at Ivalua, said it was not enough for organisations to pledge to meet net zero targets.

“Firms need to act, ensuring environmental efforts extend beyond their own four walls to cut carbon emissions and avoid greenwashing,” he said. “For most organisations emissions from their supply chain are several times greater than their own direct emissions. This means it’s critical they work with immediate and sub-tier suppliers to drive improvements in environmental practices.”

Saric said as suppliers had a vital role to play in reducing environmental impact, organisations had a responsibility to give them the right tools to boost green initiatives.

“This means regularly communicating with suppliers, assessing their efforts, and providing them with flexibility to offer innovative solutions,” said Saric. “By taking a smarter approach to procurement, organisations can facilitate collaboration and access actionable insights to drive continuous improvement and help hit CO2 goals.”

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