- For consumer goods marketers, high-tech, and other manufacturers, between 40-60% of their carbon footprint is in their supply chain.
- For retailers, the number is even higher, 80%.
- Many of the opportunities to reduce emissions carry no net life-cycle costs, with the upfront investment more than paying for itself through lower energy or material usage.
- Others may require tradeoffs between emissions and profitability, in areas such as logistics and product design.
- Forward-looking companies are using such discussions as opportunities for supplier development.
- This opens up the possibility of still lower costs and improved operational performance, in addition to helping suppliers remove carbon from their supply chains.
Wal-Mart comes to mind, as a great example of a company that understands the multiple benefits of a greener supply chain. The question of, why are not more companies following Wal-Mart‘s lead, warrants further examination. Is it lack of knowledge? Having to attend to other, more pressing issues? Inertia? What do you think?