Trucost News / 05 Jun 2012

Becker Underwood quantifies the environmental impacts of its supply chain

Becker Underwood releases the first stage results of a comprehensive supply chain sustainability assessment study.

Becker Underwood, Inc., technology-intensive developer of biologicals and specialty products for the ag sector, today released the first stage results of a comprehensive supply chain sustainability assessment study.

Ultimately the company plans to publish a complete Environmental Profit and Loss Account covering its global operations and supply chain.

The first stage of the project analyzed the carbon emissions and water footprint of Becker Underwood’s global operations and supply chain, within the remit of the company’s sustainable development strategy – NET positiveTM. The NET positive concept states that all businesses have positive and negative impacts on the environment and society through its processes, products and policies. Becker Underwood’s strategy is about measuring and communicating the goals put in place to have a net positive impact on the environment, society and economic company growth. Transparency is a cornerstone of the NET positive strategy.

The data will be used to help the company identify hotspots of environmental impact in order to quickly understand and benchmark environmental risk exposure across its operations and supply chain. It will also be used to engage Becker Underwood’s suppliers as part of their Vendor Performance Scorecard Program.

Trucost analyzed Becker Underwood’s 127 unique suppliers covering expenditures from October 2010 to September 2011. The results include an analysis of the carbon footprint for all 127 suppliers and identification of suppliers and sectors that are carbon intensive relative to the benchmark. Just 10 of Becker’s high impact suppliers were found to be responsible for around 55 percent of the supply chain carbon footprint. Key areas of focus include manufacturing, agriculture, extraction and extractive industries.

Key findings

  • From the total GHG emissions analyzed, only 13 percent were directly associated with Becker Underwood’s operations: 3 percent of natural gas, heavy and light fuel use in facilities and 10 percent were from electricity use in facilities. The vast majority of GHGs emissions were embedded in the supply chain.
  • From the total water abstraction quantity analyzed, only 1 percent was attributed to Becker Underwood’s direct operations. 99 percent of the water abstraction was within the supply chain.

Daniel Krohn, Sustainability Lead for Becker Underwood said: “As part of our company’s commitment to have an overall positive impact on the environment and society, it was important to us to complete a comprehensive analysis of our supply chain’s carbon emissions. The analysis gives us a good baseline to continue to analyze and evaluate our total environmental impact and risk. We plan to dive deeper into other areas, such as transport and water, to identify risk to our supply chain from volatile energy prices and increasing environmental costs.”

Cary Krosinsky, Senior Vice President for Trucost in North America said “Measuring and understanding environmental footprints, especially within supply chains, is the first step toward managing and reducing them. Environmental impacts are increasingly resulting in financial costs for companies, and by undertaking such a thorough assessment of its supply chain, Becker Underwood is taking a major step forward.”


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