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Carbon risks & opportunities in supply chains


understand your impact

Carbon risks & opportunities in supply chains

Erika Whillas

Creating greenhouse gas inventories through life cycle analysis 

Increasingly, companies and brands are facing scrutiny from stakeholders on their environmental performance. Consumers, shareholders and regulators are demanding greater transparency, particularly from those entities with global and resource-intensive supply chains. In order to address this scrutiny, and identify risks and opportunities, companies are monitoring and reporting on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout their supply chains and product portfolios.

An efficient way to begin this process is through comprehensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of products. Product LCA provides a quantitative understanding of potential risks along a product’s life cycle, helping to identify inefficiencies and hotspots in supply chains and develop an inventory of GHG emissions. The use of GHG inventories can inform risk assessment, identify optimization opportunities, and forecast costs of regulation associated with GHG emissions and resource consumption.1 Understanding supply chain GHG inventories can help companies achieve three key business goals:

  1. Identify key commodities and practices with the greatest sustainability challenges

  2. Inform investment in ‘material’ sustainability issues

  3. Improve corporate reputation and accountability

    through public performance disclosure 

This paper will briefly explore the evolving landscape of these business goals, and discuss the risks and opportunities available to companies when investigating the GHG emissions of their supply chains.