Green supply chains will be key in Britain meeting its 2050 zero emissions target

Earth Day is a great opportunity for supply chain management teams to consider how they can facilitate greater sustainability in their operations. With this in mind, John Perry, managing director at SCALA, shares his thoughts on what businesses can do to build a greener supply chain and help Britain meet its net zero emissions target in 2050. 

“As the UK continues its march towards its net zero emissions target in 2050, greener business practices are only set to rise in priority. When it comes to CO2 emissions, suppliers’ operations are responsible for 65% to 95% of a company’s total emissions. It is therefore essential that businesses look at their supply chains now in order to avoid incurring potentially serious financial and reputational damage further down the line. The decisions businesses make over the coming months may very well shape the future of millions in the years to come.

Businesses need a greater awareness of all of the emissions produced throughout their supply chain. While it is mandatory for businesses to report on Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, there is currently no legal obligation to report upon all indirect emissions produced throughout the supply chain, known as Scope 3 emissions. 

Considering Scope 3 emissions can make up the majority of many businesses’ carbon footprint, it becomes clear that any business striving for net-zero emissions cannot feasibly meet their targets without taking these emissions into account. Organisations paying closer attention to their entire carbon footprint, including Scope 3 emissions, can only be seen as a positive, resulting in environmental benefits felt across society. 

Businesses should also take a closer look at their logistics network to identify any inefficiencies that could be improved upon. Companies should look at their current fleet size, vehicle makeup and geographic spread, as well as where their distribution centres are located, to determine any areas of inefficiency or wasted resource.

SCALA has pledged to support businesses in their sustainability journey, by ensuring that every project undertaken in 2021 will include a detailed assessment of how all work across the supply network will impact the environment. Through this, environmentally sustainable practices are front of mind at all times and together we can work towards a greener future.”

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