11th July 2018

Top retailers work to reduce supply chain emissions

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Supply chain sustainability could be strengthened after 115 organisations joined forces to request environmental data from thousands of global suppliers.

The organisations include four of the world’s top 20 retail companies – Tesco, Walmart, Target and CVS Health – who are working with suppliers to reduce supply chain emissions.

More than 11,500 global suppliers are involved and the number of organisations has increased to 115 from 99 last year, according to CDP, a global environmental impact non-profit company.

There is growing momentum behind the take-up of science-based targets – which allow companies to reduce emissions in line with the decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius, (the key aim of the Paris Agreement).

Sonya Bhonsle, Head of Supply Chain at CDP, said: “With emissions in the supply chain on average around four times greater than those from a company’s direct operations – and rising to up to seven times greater for retailers and consumer-facing companies – large multinational corporations cannot comprehensively address their environmental impact without looking to their supply chains.

“It’s very encouraging to see so many of the world’s biggest buyers taking supply chain sustainability seriously.

“By requesting data from their suppliers, they are shining a light on the risks hidden deep within their production chains – and uncovering a myriad of opportunities for reducing their overall environmental footprint, boosting innovation and cutting costs.”

Jennifer Silberman, VP of Corporate Responsibility at Target, said: “The future of Target’s business depends on taking care of the resources we have today, so we are constantly working to find more environmentally friendly ways to bring guests the products they want.

“We have been reporting our own emissions to CDP since 2012, and will now seek this data from key Target suppliers to better support them in achieving greater efficiency, investments in innovation and sustainable choices.”

Other organisations which have begun requesting supplier data through CDP in 2018 include:

  • Belgian-Brazilian company AB InBev, the largest brewer in the world with revenues of US$46 billion in 2016, and its Brazilian subsidiary AmBev
  • Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, the main municipal utility in the United States, serving over four million residents
  • Leading specialty chemicals companies Croda (UK) and Arkema (France)
  • Royal Bank of Canada, the largest bank in Canada by market capitalisation