Carbon Trust launches world’s first certification standard for supply chain emissions

Organisations working to measure, manage and reduce the carbon emissions of their supply chain will now be able to benchmark progress and gain recognition for their efforts with the world's first independent certification scheme.

The Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain was launched in London today (30 September) in a bid to guide efforts, drive continuous improvement and recognise the successes of companies that are championing sustainability in areas outside of their own operational control.

Seven ‘pathfinder’ companies, including ABP Food Group, Aviva and Willmott Dixon, have become the first organisations to be awarded the new Standard, having collaborated with key suppliers to help them reduce carbon emissions.

Behaviour change

Launching the new standard, the Carbon Trust’s managing director of certification Darran Messem said: “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 recognise 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.”

The Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain requires companies to complete a ‘hotspot analysis’ to identify the most significant areas of carbon emissions within their supply chain. This is then used to determine a baseline for emissions reduction and prioritise certain suppliers for future engagement.

Purchasing power

Other companies to have already achieved the certification include Aviva, Central England Co-Operative, Deloitte UK, Nationwide and PwC UK. To retain the Standard, the businesses must demonstrate evidence of supplier engagement and emissions reductions within specified parts of their supply chain.

Tom Spink, group procurement director at Aviva, said: “In these days of increasing focus on clearly articulating the wider responsibility and actions of business, we continually seek ways of having our work independently verified by industry recognised bodies. 

“We believe that, as a responsible business, we can use our procurement power for good. The Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain provides this assurance to our stakeholders and at the same time drives us forward to improving the sustainability of our business and products and services in collaboration with our suppliers.”

Luke Nicholls

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