Net Zero Scope 3 – The importance of getting closer to and better understanding your supplier base

“Taken as a whole, the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.”

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“One can see from space how the human race has changed the Earth. Nearly all of the available land has been cleared of forest and is now used for agriculture or urban development. The polar icecaps are shrinking and the desert areas are increasing. At night, the Earth is no longer dark, but large areas are lit up. All of this is evidence that human exploitation of the planet is reaching a critical limit. But human demands and expectations are ever-increasing. We cannot continue to pollute the atmosphere, poison the ocean and exhaust the land. There isn’t any more available.”

Stephen Hawking, Physicist & Author

The risks of Climate Change are a serious concern that have to be faced and addressed by both individuals and businesses.  To stop and reverse the pace of Climate Change, a number of businesses have set their own Net Zero & decarbonisation objectives.  However, a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions lies outside a business’s direct control but with their Supply Chain partners.

With the above in mind, a business won’t be able to effectively commit to and meet their Net Zero objectives, unless they are working more closely with their Supply Chain partners to:

  • Understand how aware your Supply Chain partners are about your Net Zero objectives
  • Understand what your Supply Chain partners are doing in terms of setting up and meeting their own Net Zero objectives (e.g. packaging, product use/storage, inbound logistics)
  • Understand what challenges/barriers/pressures your Supply Chain partners are facing (e.g. cost/operational) which could stimulate joint solutions
  • Reach an agreement about accountability for the agreed emission reductions or offsets
  • Develop better ways of working to achieve common goals regarding Net Zero objectives

One of the ways of getting closer to your suppliers and demonstrating ENGAGEMENT is by getting regular feedback from them.  Supplier feedback will generate valuable insights for your business and also indicate to your suppliers that you are genuinely interested in their views.

The critical step after that is to act upon the key insights from the supplier feedback.  This will generate both goodwill and lead to increased collaboration between the partners that will ultimately underpin achieving your Net Zero goals.

It doesn’t matter where your business is in the Net Zero journey, if you haven’t already done so, engaging your supplier base is an important first step to ensure success.

Here at Finger on the Pulse Research, we are experts in working with clients to design, develop, deploy and deliver feedback/insights from key stakeholder groups. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can gather feedback from your suppliers and help you on your journey towards achieving Net Zero.