Supply Chain Decarbonization: What Corporations Must Consider


New research published earlier this year shows how tackling supply chain emissions can be a game-changer in the worldwide battle against climate change. Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group looks at the top eight worldwide supply chains that produce more than 50% of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions. They find that several corporations can multiply their climate impact by focusing on supply chain decarbonization.

Source: WEF

On the other hand, even leading corporations struggle to set clear goals and standards for their suppliers and get the data they need.

How best can corporations build a meaningful pathway to deep decarbonization within their supply chains?

In this article, the GHG emissions management experts at SINAI explain what corporations should consider when getting to grips with supply chain emissions. We present practical and scalable ways in which corporations can achieve deep decarbonization, from setting a carbon baseline to automating data collection throughout your corporation’s supply chain.

Slowing down climate change 

The Paris agreement is a legally binding global treaty on climate change aiming to slow down climate change. Unfortunately, current pledges do not go far enough. Many agree that to hit the targets set, deep decarbonization is needed, particularly in global supply chains across a variety of industries.

What is decarbonization? 

The term “decarbonization” is used to represent the process of reducing and removing the carbon dioxide, or CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent, meaning, all 7 greenhouse gases included), output from a country’s economy. The most common way this is done is by decreasing the amount of CO2e released from active industries within each economy – including but not limited to utilities, transportation, consumer goods, construction, and materials.

A robust picture of emissions 

The first step every corporation should take to get a handle on supply chain emissions is to gain a complete view of what those emissions are. The GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 Standard provides corporations with a methodology that can be used to account for and report carbon emissions from companies of all sectors, worldwide.

Corporations should consider building a detailed view of emissions with supplier-specific data to set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. You can take control of your supply chain’s carbon emissions by performing a carbon inventory.

You should be able to compare emissions sources and resource consumption together with quickly identifying trends and patterns. Ensure you can aggregate, sort, and filter your emissions data to manage risk better and help/support suppliers to find deep decarbonization opportunities.

A detailed carbon baseline

Corporations should consider exploring historical activity data to project emissions as their business grows and changes, creating forecast baselines they can use to monitor progress.

Establishing a comprehensive emissions baseline for your corporation is vital. Baselines are built according to business growth, and you can combine these with supply chain emissions with different levels of detail, to generate multiple baselines according to additional premises. Use granular data to analyze suppliers that contribute the most significant emissions.

Emerging software can help corporations easily match procurement data with environmentally extended input/output factors, building a high-level picture of their supply chain’s overall carbon footprint. Corporations can also leverage predictive analytics on resource consumption and emissions trends to gain better insight and business intelligence.

Automated GHG inventories  

Corporations should consider engaging diverse partners in their supply chain in a meaningful way, assisting them in a value-based exchange of emissions data.

Work towards a flexible data collection process to move away from generic data sources and create custom emissions factors that you can track with ease.

Collaboration is crucial, and we know supply chain emissions data can be messy. By automating data collection, corporations can consolidate, analyze and organize data from various sources quickly and easily, leading to more accountable reporting and better decision making.

Smarter carbon emissions strategies 

Corporations should look to optimize their carbon emissions strategy through scenario and sensitivity analysis and enhanced risk management for deep supply chain decarbonization.

Intelligent, data-driven scenario analysis can future-proof your corporation and your supply chain, with a heightened understanding of your projected deep decarbonization pathways.

Accurate and precise data can show which assets of the corporation are most at risk. Explore any reduction opportunities that exist and what cost-positive opportunities may be worth investing in, in the long-term. Suppliers that go over the same type of analysis, will ultimately reduce their scope 1 and 2, which will reflect back to their buyers’ scope 3. The overall approach helps everyone in the supply chain to reduce emissions, with their own individual definition of success.

Technology to help your organization to remain accountable 

Front runners in several global industries are using innovative and cutting-edge technology to better manage their supply chain’s journey to deep decarbonization. They have a complete view of carbon emissions throughout their supply chain and baseline definitions in place, reviewing more granular data of those with the highest emissions. They are working towards deep decarbonization through automated carbon inventories from suppliers and following carbon emissions strategies, backed by data.

SINAI’s GHG emissions management solution can help you achieve supply chain decarbonization. Our software provides a seamless way to measure, analyze, price, and reduce emissions. Supply chain carbon management doesn’t have to be difficult, with the right solution that’s customizable to your corporation’s unique needs, you can move closer to net-zero.

To see SINAI in action, reach out for a demo today. This article originally appeared at SINAI

Enhancement of the understanding and the engagement and mobilization of Youth Leaders and civil society towards the CBD COP

The 2010- 2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity sets 20 global biodiversity targets or Aichi Targets to be attained in the efforts to reduce biodiversity loss and ensure its contribution to human wellbeing in the move towards the global 2050 vision to live in harmony with nature.  African Countries in compliance with their commitment to this global undertaking, alongside several member states worldwide, internalized the Strategic plan through the adoption of national biodiversity strategic frameworks that defined priorities and provided orientation for interventions. Several national Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans adopted in Africa within this dynamic equally demands an early reflection towards the identification of adapted national biodiversity priorities beyond 2020 and the extent to which this reflection can influence and contribute to the process of developing a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The COP 14 decision has therefore set-in motion the process for a new global framework for biodiversity to be adopted during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) of the CBD, to be held in 2020 in Italy.

The comprehensive consultative approach defined for this process includes the following: global inter-sessional discussions on the components for the new global framework and the production of a draft document, as well as regional, national and thematic dialogues to ensure harmonized approaches that feed into the global discussions. Within this approach, member states to the CBD and other biodiversity stakeholders are all called upon to contribute to the development of this global framework by effectively engaging in the global and regional dialogues to be carried out.

Africa constitutes a critical party in this process. The rich biological and genetic diversity with diverse valuable ecosystems (in several ecological basin as Congo Basin) with services that offer enormous opportunities for the continent’s social and economic development, provide global benefits as carbon sinks, constitute a main attraction in the global markets etc. The extent to which Africa’s biodiversity interests can be taken into consideration in the development of the new global framework.

Consultations have effectively commenced in the African region under the coordination of the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the Secretariat of the CBD and other development partners. The outcomes of the African Ministerial Summit on Biodiversity in 2018 in Egypt, the Africa Regional Consultation on the post-2020 that held in Addis Ababa in April 2019 and other Regional informal consultations aimed at ensuring coherence and harmony in presenting regional priorities, provide opportunities for countries to better articulate messages on national priorities for the identified regional thematic areas.  The COVID19 outbreak has highlighted the need for governments and the international community to focus on the interlinkage biodiversity, health and security. This has been well stated in the African Youth and civil society declaration against COVID19 and Pandemics elaborated drafted on May 31, 2020 under the lead of African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development (ANYL4PSD). This declaration shed a light on major challenges that call for a continental response by all stakeholders including the youths.

African Youth are vital exponents to achieve these goals leading to the creation of a conglomerate of youth chapters across Africa to contribute to the development of a framework that demonstrates the political and economic relevance of nature, while setting ambitious targets to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity. However, in spite of the increasing engagement of youth in actions against climate change and nature conservation, the level of youth awareness on this global process and the understanding on the stakes the outcomes of a new global strategic plan on biodiversity will present for Africa’s development pathway, is very low. An early setting of the stage for a continental youth reflection will enable Africa to capitalize on several opportunities within the on-going global and regional preparatory processes. The engagement of youth stakeholders in the post-2020 framework development process provides an institutional landscape for building a broad partnership in this process.

Objectives of the intervention

The overall objective of the project is to enhance the understanding and the engagement and mobilization of Youth Leaders and civil society towards the CBD COP.

Increase national and continental awareness and ambition for youth engagement and advocacy in the post-2020 biodiversity framework preparatory process by the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as build continental momentum for appropriation and strengthened implementation of the post-2020 global framework.

Specific objectives

  • Create awareness campaign across Africa on the status and trend of loss and value of nature for people development and climate change reaching at least 50 000 people;
  • Build understanding of African youth leaders on the process towards the development of a global post-2020 biodiversity framework and the need for youth involvement and engagement in the process;
  • develop and formally initiate a regional consultative and participatory process, including a roadmap for Africa’s engagement towards the COP 15 in Italy;
  • Secure nature-based commitments through a position paper from youths of state and non-state actors to taking actions contributing to halting and reversing biodiversity loss.