Supply Chain Carbon management

The aim of Carbon Management was to help companies to understand systematically the business risks and opportunities associated with climate change. Carbon management can be implemented at the level of an individual company to the level of an end-to-end supply chain i.e. from raw materials to end consumer.

In this project, an advisory kit will developed to recommend proper carbon footprint supply chain management steps for SMEs. Manufacturers at different stages of the product supply chain will be selected: downstream (end product manufacturer) and upstream (component/part supplier). The feedback from these two manufacturers during the application will be used to refine the kit. Moreover, The case study results can be used by the downstream type SMEs to manage their suppliers to achieve lower end product carbon footprint and better environmental performance; and also the upstream manufacturers can follow the showcases to meet the upstream's requirements about carbon disclosure in accordance with ISO 14067. The schematic comparison of carbon management of individual company and carbon management across supply chain is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Schematic comparison of carbon management of individual company and carbon management across supply chain

Carbon management of individual company

UK°–Carbon Trust

This is mirrored in the approaches of many of the leading companies we work with when they look for opportunities to improve their operations. For companies that recognize the need to reduce energy costs and to play their part in mitigation of climate change, integrated supply chain analysis is the next logical step in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Managing the carbon footprint of products across the supply chain is the next step for business to take in the effort to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. There are several issues driving business to take action, including:

  • Increases in direct energy costs and the energy costs of suppliers;
  • Existing and planned legislation which penalises high energy consumption and rewards emissions reductions;
  • Changing consumer attitudes to climate change, presenting forward-thinking companies with an opportunity to develop and market low-carbon products.

This supply chain approach has the potential to unlock significant emissions reductions and large financial benefits by reducing the carbon footprint at an individual product level. It can help individual companies to understand the carbon emissions across the supply chains in which they operate and allow them to prioritise areas where further reductions in emissions can be achieved. It can ultimately help all of business make better informed decisions in product manufacturing, purchasing, distribution and product development by considering the costs and liabilities that exist whenever carbon emissions are generated. This is the next step in the evolution of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.