GLOBE SERIES

More companies find value in green supply chain

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The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which publishes the carbon footprint of companies such as Coca-Cola, Ford and Phillips Electronics, is experiencing an increase in participation this year in its Supply Chain Program.

An unprecedented 6,000-plus suppliers along the supply chains of fifty-four companies were invited to participate in the program, which works with companies to track and improve supplier operations as they relate to sustainability and climate change.

The voluntary nature of the program suggests a growing importance of sustainable practices in corporate supply chains. For many companies, carbon and sustainability reporting helps to not only limit business impact on the environment, but is also used as a strategy to reduce exposure to scarce raw materials, utilize waste streams as new forms of energy, as well as reduce overall energy consumption and carbon emissions.

British retailer Marks & Spencer, for example, reported £105m in 2011/12 annual net benefits resulting from its sustainability strategy.

While a number of large Canadian companies, such as Canada Post, Royal Bank of Canada and Petro Canada, have participated in the CDP and some smaller BC-based companies, such as Harbour Air and Salt Spring Coffee, have worked to measure and reduce their carbon footprints, there is no voluntary reporting scheme in the province.

Nevertheless, companies with facilities that emit 10,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas (GHG) annually must report such emissions to the Ministry of Environment according to the Reporting Regulation of the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act.

GHGs are attributed to six sectors: energy, industrial processes, solvents and other product use, agriculture, waste, and afforestation and deforestation.

The BC government discloses that the energy, waste, and industrial processes sectors are responsible for the highest emissions respectively; however, information on corporate emissions is not publicly available.

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