BT and Unilever among business giants supporting other firms to halve supplier emissions

For most businesses

The new 1.5C supplier engagement guide has been released to coincide with COP26 in Glasgow and has been published by the Exponential Roadmap Initiative – a scheme set up to help companies, cities and nations to back up long-term climate targets with plans to at least halve emissions by 2030.

 A new collaborative platform for businesses striving to cut emissions sharply across their supply chains has been launched by a string of big businesses including BT, Unilever and Ikea.

Included in the guide are practical pieces of advice, links to open-source tools and case studies from BT Group, Unilever, Ikea, Ericsson and Telia Company. All of these firms have already committed to halving supply chain emissions by 2030.

Instead of being a fixed report, the guide is an online platform and new information will be added in the coming months. Issues covered in the guide include identifying which subset of suppliers have the largest climate impact; changing sustainability-related supplier requirements; training procurement teams and providing suppliers with the resources they need to meet new demands. Non-profit BSR has supported the Exponential Roadmap Initiative in developing the guide.

The UN’s High-Level Climate Champion for COP26, Nigel Topping, said that “collaborative platforms providing best-practice examples” can play a “critical role” in embedding the “disruptive innovation” needed for deep decarbonisation across global value chains.

For most large businesses, indirect emissions from the supply chain and/or consumer use of products and services will account for a far larger portion of overall emissions than those from direct operations. CDP estimates that the average large firm will have supply chain emissions 11.4 times greater than its direct emissions, so decarbonisation here will be vital for credible climate plans. 

edie recently hosted a free masterclass webinar on the topic of measuring and reducing Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, in association with Carbon Intelligence. You can read the key takeaways from that session here and watch the entire session on-demand here.

Exponential Roadmap Initiative 

The Exponential Roadmap Initiative was launched in September 2020, as part of the Race to Zero campaign, with Ikea, Unilever, BT, Ericsson and Telia named among the founding corporate members of the 1.5C supply chain leaders. This scheme, and its other workstreams, are supported by the We Mean Business coalition. 

Since then, the likes of technology giant Telefónica, food manufacturer Nestlé and waste management firm Ragn-Sells have all joined the initiative. As of September 2021, corporate members represent a combined turnover of €284bn. 

Sarah George

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