Greening your supply chain

26 Jan 2011

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2011 Supply Chain Report reveals how companies such as PepsiCo have reaped US$60m in energy savings as a result of their carbon-management strategies.

The CDP report looks at climate change actions among 1,000 suppliers to 57 leading global companies, with many of these firms having operations in Ireland.

Participating large companies in the CDP with operations in Ireland include Accenture, Dell, Endesa, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Merck, PepsiCo, Unilever and Vodafone.

The Supply Chain Report found that businesses are now seeing a return on investment from embedding sustainable practices into the procurement function. More than 50pc of the large businesses and 25pc of their suppliers have seen direct cost savings as a result of their carbon-management activities.

Getting a return on their investment

PepsiCo, for instance, has seen a 16pc reduction in per-unit energy use across its beverage plants.

Richard Evens, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland, said: “I think that successful businesses in the 21st century will be those that decouple growth from increasing carbon emissions.”

Dick Budden, Ireland director of the CDP, added: “This report underlines the benefit companies can derive from measuring and tackling carbon emissions. Not only large corporations, but their suppliers, too, can see the benefit to be derived from embedding climate change policies.”
The 2011 CDP Supply Chain Report shows:

  • 86pc of companies saw tangible commercial benefits from working closely with suppliers to improve performance and mutual return on investment, up from 46pc in 2009.
  • 79pc of CDP supply chain member businesses now employ a formal climate change strategy, up from 63pc in 2009.
  • 45pc of businesses track and report supply chain emissions, more than double of that in 2009.
  • 72pc of large businesses have their data verified externally.

Management consulting firm A. T. Kearney produced the report.  

CDP Ireland is principally supported by the NTR Foundation. Other sponsors include SEAI and the EPA.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic