Leading businesses push boundaries of corporate responsibility into the supply chain

supply chain

Carbon Trust launches new international certification for organizations working to measure, manage and reduce carbon emissions outside their direct operational control

September 30 2015 – Seven large businesses have demonstrated their sustainability leadership by becoming the first organisations to be awarded the new Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain, launched today at an event at the British Academy in Central London.

The new certification is the world’s first independent certification to recognize organisations that have put in place a framework to measure, manage and reduce carbon emissions across their supply chain.

The pathfinder companies – ABP Food Group, Aviva, Central England Co-operative, Deloitte UK, Nationwide, PwC UK and Willmott Dixon – each have procurement spends that are measured in hundreds of millions, or billions of pounds. This purchasing power gives those organisations an opportunity to have a positive influence outside their operational boundaries, through engaging with key suppliers to get them to reduce their own carbon emissions.

Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, explains why the new certification was developed:

“In most sectors the direct environmental impacts of an organisation are dwarfed by the carbon emissions relating to the products and services in their supply chain. As leading businesses get better at reducing carbon emissions in their own operations, they recognize the responsible thing to do is to focus efforts on where they can have the greatest impact.

“Large organisations often harness their procurement power to secure better quality or lower prices. But if they also engage and demand higher environmental standards, they can change the behaviour of both direct and indirect suppliers, helping them to become more sustainable.

10carbon-trust-supply-chain-standard“At the Carbon Trust we recognized that to do this well they need a framework to support them to identify the most significant areas of emissions and opportunities for reduction in large and complex supply chains, often with thousands of individual suppliers. This is why we created the Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain, which provides a management system that helps guide efforts, drives continuous improvement and recognizes success.”

To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain organisations need to complete a detailed hotspot analysis to identify the most significant areas of carbon emissions within their supply chain. This is then used to determine a quantitative baseline for emissions reduction and prioritize suppliers for future engagement.

To retain the Standard on an ongoing basis organisations must demonstrate evidence of supplier engagement, demonstrate reductions in specified parts of their supply chain, and then expand their approach to engage different areas or suppliers.

Certification process – a journey to reduction

Measure & Prioritise 

– Complete a detailed supply chain hotspot analysis
– Prioritise suppliers for engagement

Engage & Baseline

– Demonstrate evidence of supplier engagement
– Determine a quantitative baseline for emissions reduction

Reduce & Expand

– Demonstrate reductions in specified parts of the supply chain
– Expand approach to more/different projects and suppliers

Looking beyond just environmental impacts, going through a process of measuring the carbon footprint of a supply chain and engaging with suppliers can have hard financial or operational benefits. This can pinpoint areas of inefficiency and risk, helping to drive cost savings or increase resilience to threats such as the supply chain disruption, resource scarcity and regulatory change.

Dean Holroyd, the Group Technical and Sustainability Director at ABP Food Group, said “At ABP, we believe it is our duty to do everything we can to ensure that our growth is not at the expense of our natural environment.”

“We also recognize that our responsibility does not begin or end at our door, so we are committed to working with our suppliers and partners to learn from each other to improve environmental standards across the board. Having acted as a pathfinder on the new Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain we are delighted to be the first organisation to be awarded this prestigious certification.”

More information available here



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