05 October, 2011

Managing GHG emissions in the supply chain

Two new standards were published this week for businesses to measure, manage, and report their greenhouse gas emissions. The guidelines, jointly developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), were launched under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an “international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions”.

There is no way a company can be sustainable if it doesn’t make sure its supply chain is sustainable. Likewise, there is no sustainable products, only sustainable product life cycles, from “cradle to cradle”. WRI interim president Manish Bapna said that with these new standards “ companies will be able to measure and manage the full scope of emissions in their value chain and products”. He added that they “will help move businesses and reporting programs to one harmonized global reporting framework”. WBCSD president Bjorn Stigson said the new standards “provide companies with a comprehensive view of the emissions produced when making a product and across the value chain. They will help companies make better business decisions”.

These standards provide a good opportunity for companies to seriously look at their carbon footprint. Reducing emissions and the company’s carbon footprint is a clean way to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and manage risks. This process creates value for shareholders, not expenses for companies. As Heather Clancy, contributing editor to Smart Planet, puts it: “the time for corporate procrastination when it comes to assessing the environmental impact of business partners across the supply chain is past”.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard is here.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard is here.

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