Trucost News / 06 Oct 2011

Sustainability East drives carbon reduction through the supply chain

Trucost is working with Sustainability East to reduce the carbon footprint associated with £4.1billion procurement decision making across 5,000 suppliers.

Sustainability East is working with 12 local authorities across the East of England to reduce the carbon footprint associated with £4.1billion procurement decision making across 5,000 suppliers.

Sustainability East is an independent social enterprise based in Cambridge, working collaboratively with all sectors to facilitate debate and action on climate change and sustainability.

The initiative means that the local authorities will be able to identify and manage financial risk from suppliers passing on increasing carbon costs from regulation and rising commodity prices. Working in collaboration, the local authorities will use their collective buying power to encourage suppliers to provide goods and services more sustainably. In doing so, the local authorities will not only reduce financial risk, but also identify new efficiency and cost saving opportunities.

Key findings:

  • In the preliminary assessment Trucost have analysed just over £4.1 billion in expenditure across the region in the 2009/10 financial year
  • Through their modelling exercise it has been determined that this total spend was responsible for approximately 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) which is 50% greater than the amount of CO2 emitted by all local authority operations in the East of England in 2008/9 (0.87 MtCO2e)
  • The region had a carbon intensity of around 350tCO2e per £ million expenditure in 2009/10 (which means that for every million pounds spent across the region around 350tCO2e was generated)
  • Using the likely CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme carbon price of £12 per tonne, these emissions could have a potential carbon cost of around £16 million
  • The key contributors on a spend category basis were Utilities, Works Construction, Repair & Maintenance, Social Community Care Supplies & Services, and Public Transport who collectively account for approximately 75% of the total emissions
  • In terms of the range in performance across the region, the most carbon intensive authority has an intensity (tCO2e per £ million expenditure) that is almost twice as large as the authority with the lowest

David Webb, executive director at Sustainability East said: “Trucost has developed a sophisticated Supply Chain Environmental Impact Assessment tool which will provide robust calculations of carbon emissions from any supplier.  By providing targeted carbon reduction intelligence, suppliers will be better able to reduce their carbon emissions thus driving efficiencies and sustainability, which will ultimately enable local authorities to play a leadership role in advancing the low carbon economy.”

Steven Bullock, head of supply chain at Trucost said: “Carbon emissions are not just an environmental issue, they also reflect a real cost to business. Our data and analysis enables us to identify the service areas where organisations can make the most difference in reducing carbon emissions, supporting their suppliers in making significant carbon savings, and importantly, reducing financial risk from suppliers passing on increasing carbon costs.”



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