Reducing Carbon Emissions In Your Supply Chain

A White Paper Report

Over the past few years, we have watched companies focus more and more on reducing carbon emissions in their supply chains. We have attended the same conferences that you attend, read the same reports and white papers, analyzed the same types of CO2 emissions data, and we agree: a large percentage of your corporate emissions—and therefore large opportunities to reduce your footprint—reside in your supply chain.

Wal-Mart famously began a campaign requiring their suppliers to reduce emissions. Timberland is working with some of its competitors and the Outdoor Industry Association to improve processes in their supply chains. Stonyfield Farm measured cow burps and learned that the cows were their largest emitters. The coffee industry is taking a long, hard look at issues in and around its supply.

With the knowledge that addressing emissions in a supply chain can be overwhelming and complex, we have developed an integrated approach for companies. Our original model of developing and marketing carbon offset projects now includes strategies to identify and fund opportunities in our clients’ supply chains. Within the food industry, we have used our knowledge, experience, and connections to create emissions reductions by:

  • Improving efficiency and re-purposing waste on the farms that supply milk and crops to our clients
  • Providing safe drinking water, preventing deforestation, and encouraging reforestation in the regions that grow coffee and cocoa for our clients

Discovering new ways of reducing carbon emissions—and realizing how the programs can also benefit employees and growers in a company’s supply chain—is always exciting for our team. This was the case when members of our project development team visited Ethiopia and Ghana’s coffee and cocoa growing regions, respectively. During the trip, they oversaw the installation of water filtration systems in the homes of people who work on the farms. Normally, these workers had to burn wood to boil and purify their water. However, the new filters provide clean drinking water without the need for combustion of wood. The result is improved air quality in the homes, conservation of trees and of course, reducing greenhouse gas pollution. All achieved while reducing the risk of contracting water borne diseases for the rural smallholder coffee grower in Sidama, Ethiopia. Such projects provide for a greener, healthier, more productive and more resilient supply chain.

There are many opportunities for organizations to reduce their carbon emissions both onsite and off—some that are obvious, and some that take time to uncover. But one thing is clear: reducing greenhouse gas pollution is an important goal. Over the coming months, we look forward to seeing how we can utilize our expertise to further reduce emissions within corporate supply chains. We are currently developing better grazing management, and other practices, to increase the Carbon sequestration potential of soils which are the bedrock of many of our clients’ supply chains.

If you have an opportunity or idea you would like to explore, we want to hear from you. Contact us at 800-924-6826 or [email protected].