The threat of climate change is very real. As an up-and-coming firm, you must work towards net zero emissions in your supply chain. It will give your company a great chance to contribute toward a sustainable and greener future. Here are five recommendations that companies can start on today, to lower their carbon impact, and optimise their supply chain to reach zero emissions.
Identify and prioritise carbon output
Just as you would not launch a new product or expand into a new market without market research, taking the same approach to decarbonisation can set you up for long-term success. While each company’s emissions footprint looks a little different, a rough breakdown may have
- Transportation/logistics (including upstream and last mile)
- Manufacturing (rethinking the production process of goods)
- Packaging (whether you can use more recyclable, reusable, reduced weight packaging etc.)
- Energy Efficiency (in all owned buildings including offices, warehouses, retail stores and more).
8% of global greenhouse gases are made up of freight transport. Decarbonising the freight industry has been slow as electrification of plans and cargo ships isn’t practical, and electric trucks are not ready for adoption at scale.
Conduct a Scope 3 emissions assessment
Most of your overall footprint in e-commerce is from your supply chain. Supply chain emissions are as much as 11.4 times higher than operations emissions like manufacturing and office energy use. Start with trying to comprehend your emissions by conducting a Scope 3 emissions assessment so that you can understand the material impact in your end-to-end supply chain and which categories contribute to your total carbon footprint. This data can help narrow down where you want to focus your reduction efforts.
Break down the numbers
After conducting your Scope 3 assessment, baseline your emissions and get started with your logistics calculations. This step concentrates on shipping and logistics as this industry doesn’t have a clear decarbonisation policy to date, leaving e-commerce brands with few alternatives. Air freight is responsible for 47 times more emissions than ocean shipping, but trucking has the most significant macro impact – producing 62% of all freight emissions.
Offset what you can
Through carbon offsetting, you can support high-impact carbon projects to balance out the emissions you aren’t able to reduce. For instance, you can support organisations working on conservation or reforestation projects worldwide to use nature as a tool in the battle against climate change.
Reduce where possible
Once you have balanced things out for the short term, it is time to reduce your footprint permanently. The transportation sector might be slow to adopt new, lower-emitting alternatives, but there are ways to bring down your overall impact. Try to partner with biofuels providers, electrified trucking fleets or alternative energy last-mile delivery solutions.
Certify for social proof
The concept of social proof stems from psychology and describes the phenomenon of people copying other people’s actions to emulate their results. Social proof is powerful in marketing because people are likelier to try a product/service if a friend recommends it. Obtain green industry certifications and display them on your website, giving customers a glimpse into your environmental impact. Customers can share their happiness with their social circles by sharing their commitment to our planet. You can expand your reach without spending marketing dollars. Show consumers the steps you’re taking.