Morrisons turns to digital data tracking to cut supply chain emissions

Image: Morrisons

The business has confirmed plans to make the software platform ‘Manufacture 2030’ available to 400 own-brand suppliers in the coming months, enabling them to improve the accuracy of their greenhouse gas emissions accounting.

The software also provides emissions forecasts and tailored guidance for reducing emissions. As well as sending users messages with this information, it encourages them to contact peers to collaboratively solve problems, and to dial in to monthly webinars hosted by Morrisons.

Topics covered on the platform include improving energy efficiency, generating renewable energy onsite and reducing resources and waste from operations. Morrisons has worked with WWF, WRAP and the Science-Based Targets initiative to develop the programmes.

Suppliers are able to access ‘Manufacture 2030’ for free and are encouraged to sign up for not only the environmental benefits, but the potential cost savings from improving efficiencies in their operations. Morrisons has said it will introduce the software across its broader supply chains in phases from 2022.

Notably, Morrisons is working to reduce Scope 3 (indirect) emissions from the supply chain by 30% by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. It has stated that it will also develop longer-term targets for reducing supply chain emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s temperature pathways. There is also a specific aim to ensure that all British farms from which ingredients and products are sourced are certified as net-zero by 2030.

“As Morrisons is vertically integrated – we manufacture more than half of the fresh food we sell – we’re in a unique position to be able to offer support to the industry,” said the company’s head of corporate services Steve Butts.

“We expect that this programme will remove thousands of tonnes of carbon from our supply chain a year – to make it easier for our customers to reduce the footprint of their shopping baskets.”

Supply chain survey

In related news, supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA has published a new report based on a survey of 22 of its clients. The survey asked how they are managing their supply chain emissions.

Worryingly, one-third of businesses said they have not taken any measures to monitor the total impact of their supply chain, and a further 50% are only using approximate estimates for supply chain emissions.

Most of these businesses did, however, state that they have plans in place to better measure and reduce their impact in the future.

SCALA has stated that this is important with net-zero in mind, and also because many businesses will have seen supply chain emissions changing due to factors such as Covid-19 and Brexit.

I believe the majority of businesses are committed to making positive changes for the environment but knowing where to start can be the main barrier to positive change,” said SCALA’s managing director John Perry.

“However, we know that the supply chain can be one of the most carbon-intensive aspects of any business and failing to respond to and tackle this will be devastating for the ongoing climate emergency across the globe.”

According to CDP, the average large multinational business will have Scope 3 (indirect) emissions some 11.4 times higher than its direct, operational emissions.


edie Explains: Scope 3 carbon emissions

What are Scope 3 emissions? How are they calculated? How can they be mitigated and reduced? And, what are the business benefits of doing so? edie recently published a new ‘Explains’ guide giving you everything you need to know.

Tackling Scope 3 emissions is a critical part of any net-zero strategy, but these emissions are so wide-ranging in what they encompass, and vary so significantly for different types of organisation, they are the most complex part of the emissions footprint to measure and manage. 

This guide has been produced with assistance from supporting partners UL and explains everything you need to know about overcoming challenges relating to Scope 3 emissions. Download your copy for free by clicking here.

Sarah George

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie