Dixons Carphone plots path to net-zero supply chain emissions

Dixons Carphone operates 14 brands across eight countries

The retailer first made the overarching emissions commitment as part of the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap. More than 60 big-name brands are supporting the collective transition to net-zero ahead of the UK Government’s national deadline in total.

As is the case for many businesses in this sector, Dixons Carphone’s supply chain accounts for a large proportion of its overall carbon footprint. To that end, the company has announced plans to work with consultancy EcoVadis to help suppliers measure, disclose and reduce their emissions.

EcoVadis is supplying Dixons Carphone with a technology called the ‘Carbon Action Module’, which will help it collect critical emissions data from suppliers in a unified format and to digitally analyse the figures. The analysis will help the retailer benchmark emissions and develop plans to help suppliers reduce them, with a priority focus on suppliers that are either high-emitting by nature or higher-emitting compared to the average in their space.

Dixons Carphone works with around 10,000 suppliers globally and is including Scope 3 (indirect) emissions in accounting towards its net-zero target. Aside from driving progress internally, the business believes this move will be an engagement point with consumers.

“In the long-term, [measuring supply chain emissions at scale] will be key to helping Dixons Carphone help customers make informed choices by providing them with greater visibility on the sustainability of both products and suppliers,” the company said in a statement.

“The actions we take now have the potential to shape a greener world for the future,” Dixons Carphone’s group responsible sourcing manager Simon Murray said. “As a global business with a complex supply chain, it is incredibly important for us to have a simple yet practical way to measure and improve both ours and our suppliers’ performance against our Standards for Responsible Sourcing.”

Elsewhere in its plans for delivering net-zero, Dixons Carphone has joined The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, pledging to switch its commercial fleet to electric and alternative fuel vehicles by 2030 and to transition more than half of its medium-duty vehicles. In total, EV100 has garnered the support of more than 101 businesses. Collectively, members have rolled out 169,000 electric vehicles and 16,900 charging points to date.

Readers keen to find out more about how UK retailers are helping to shape a green recovery are encouraged to access edie’s free Mission Possible: Green Recovery report on Retail. Download that report by clicking here.

Spotlight on Scope 3

Most businesses believe that at least 80% of their total emissions footprint falls within Scope 3. Indeed, CDP has calculated that the average company’s supply chain emissions are around five-and-a-half times greater than those generated by their direct operations.

This means that the global economy is unlikely to become a net-zero emissions system by 2050, the deadline recommended by the IPCC, without ambitious and holistic action to tackle Scope 3 emissions.

With this in mind, the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has implemented new requirements for corporates that wish to have their emissions targets verified in line with 1.5C. The SBTi will require businesses to set Scope 3 targets if Scope 3 sources account for 40% or more of their annual emissions footprint. Such targets must have boundaries that address two-thirds of total Scope 3 emissions.

Uptake of 1.5C-aligned SBTI targets has been accelerating; just a few years ago, the only businesses certified were Pukka Herbs, BT, Carlsberg and Tesco.

However, a recent survey by consultancy South Pole found that just one in ten businesses with long-term, net-zero targets have approved science-based targets to support progress in the interim.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Ian Byrne says:

    Another initiative that can help companies in a supply chain reduce their emissions is the new international standard ISO 50009, Energy management systems Guidance for implementing a common energy management system in multiple organizations. Although it’s focused on energy, it addresses the major source of emissions for most supply chain companies.

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