CO2 savings not being replicated at scale through supply chains, CDP finds

BT, Sky, HP and Royal Philips are global leaders in taking the battle to cut CO2 emissions into their supply chains, according to CDP.

In a new report, Missing link: Harnessing the power of purchasing for a sustainable future, the non-profit global environmental data platform publishes its first-ever leader board for supply chain engagement.

Other companies among the 29 on the leader board include GM, AkzoNobel, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola European Partners, Deutsche Telekom, KPMG UK, Nestle, and Sony Corporation. They were selected from more than 3,300 companies that were assessed. CDP collaborated with the UK’s Carbon Saving Trust and BSR in compiling the report.

The report, which analyses climate and water-related data disclosed to CDP by more than 4,300 supplier-companies, reveals that reductions equivalent to 434 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – more than France’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 – were achieved by suppliers worldwide in 2016.

HP was singled out for helping its suppliers avoid 800,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions through energy-saving action plans targeting local efficiency improvements. (see How RE100 helped HP put a sustainability stake in the ground).

Dutch technology company Royal Philips was praised for targeting “risk suppliers” for participation in its numerous supplier sustainability programmes. It has also developed a tool to help suppliers to quantify their carbon emissions.

Meanwhile BT’s new online sustainability assessment tool aims to help its suppliers understand how to reduce their carbon impact.

With supply chains responsible for on average four times a company’s direct emissions, they are a critical focus area for companies seeking to avoid the risks presented by the low-carbon transition, CDP said. Yet despite a 20% increase since 2015 in the number of big buyers requesting climate and water-related data from their suppliers, only 22% of supplier respondents in the survey engage with their own suppliers on carbon emissions and 16% engage with their suppliers on water use.

Common barriers include lack of experience in calculating and managing their own emissions, a perceived lack of leverage over business partners, costs associated with managing an engagement programme and an absence of mandatory requirements from customers or regulation.

The report contains a four-part framework, developed by the Carbon Trust, for companies to catalyse change within their supply chains.

“The overall picture that emerges is that the sustainability commitments and practices of leading organizations are not being replicated at scale downwards through the supply chain,” the report says. “And even among leading organizations, there is a comparative immaturity in strategies to address supply chain impacts when compared with their action on direct impacts.”

Dexter Galvin, head of supply chain, CDP said: “Companies have a critical role to play in delivering on the Paris Agreement, and as well as setting their own house in order, it is essential they turn their attention to the risks and opportunities outsourced to their supply chain.”

The 29 companies recognized on CDP’s supplier engagement leader board are:

3M Company


Bank of America


BNY Mellon

Braskem S/A

Bridgestone Corporation

BT Group

Coca-Cola European Partners

Creative Group of Industries

Deutsche Telekom AG

EMC Corporation

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

General Mills Inc.

General Motors Company


Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.

Komatsu Ltd.


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation


Panasonic Corporation

Royal Philips

Sky plc

Sony Corporation

Stora Enso Oyj

Thyssenkrupp AG

Toshiba Corporation

Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited

supply chains  climate  BT  HP  Philips  CDP  Carbon Trust  BSR  Sky 

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