Supplier tool for climate action

The supply chain of a corporation stands for 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Most companies are aware of this and invest large resources in measuring and reducing emissions at the supplier level. One challenge is poor traceability and different metrics. Another is the lack of competence on the part of the supplier companies, which are required to release data but have not yet set their own targets and strategies for reducing emissions. In that gap, Axfoundation saw a need for competence transfer, capacity building on the supplier side and clearer requirements from purchasing companies. In collaboration with Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Axfoundation is developing a digital climate education tool that is aimed at different types of suppliers in different countries.

Problem

In order for global warming to be limited to 1.5 degrees, global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2030, starting at 2020 and reaching net emissions of zero by 2050. This means that work on emission reductions must accelerate dramatically. Among other things, companies and public procurers should set clearer requirements for their suppliers. The supplier companies must in turn be ready to switch to climate-smart processes and renewable energy. It requires a readiness and a climate leadership at the supplier level that is lacking today in many small and medium-sized producers of clothing, gadgets, food, electronics, household utensils, building materials and other products.

The Carbon Law intends for a halving of global emissions of greenhouse gases each decade. Scope 3 is the key to the radical climate footprint reduction that is needed.

The Carbon Law intends for a halving of global emissions of greenhouse gases each decade. Scope 3 is the key to the radical climate footprint reduction that is needed.

The role of consumption

In the anthropocene period, i.e. the age of man, the production of food and products has led to emissions, waste, over-exploitation of natural resources and a severe impact on the climate. Three-fifths of Sweden’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from households’ consumption, the remaining two-fifths come from public consumption and investment. Public consumption consists of the goods and services that, for example, schools, hospitals and authorities procure. Investments are emissions linked to the purchase of buildings, machinery, objects and inventory investments.

Emissions are classified into the categories of scope 1, 2 and 3, according to the GHG protocol — the international standard for governments, companies and organizations. 75% of the total corporate emissions come from scope 3 sources, upstreams and downstreams.

Scope 1, 2 och 3

  • Scope 1: Direct greenhouse gas emissions that a business has control over, e.g. greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and machines that the business owns or leases.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from electricity, such as electricity production, district heating and cooling.
  • Scope 3: Indirect greenhouse gas emissions that occur outside the boundaries of the business. The emissions are often divided into so-called upstream and downstream emissions, depending on whether they occur before or after a company’s own operations in the value chain. Examples of upstream emissions are material consumption, business travel or production of equipment. Examples of downstream emissions are processing, usage and final handling of sold products. The majority of a company’s greenhouse gas emissions are within scope 3.

Our work

To accelerate the emission reductions at the supplier level, Axfoundation is developing a digital climate education tool for supplier companies. The work is based on a number of lessons learned from a feasibility study and a survey of current digital climate tools, carried out by master’s students at KTH in the autumn of 2021. The studies showed a lack of climate competence in supplier companies and a lack of competence-enhancing tools based on the supplier’s perspective. Our effort is a generic education that will work for small and large suppliers in different industries and countries. The tool will be open and available at SME Climate Hub in the summer of 2022. It is aimed at suppliers but is suitable for purchasing companies and public procurers to distribute to their suppliers in connection with demands for active climate work and measurable emission reductions.

Our solution

Axfoundation develops a digital, cross-industry supplier support that primarily aims to inform, motivate and train suppliers in line with the 1.5-degree goal, 1.5 Business Playbook and Science Based Targets. The training will be generic and aimed at large and small factories as well as producers in various industries and countries.

The close collaboration with the Exponential Roadmap Initiative creates proximity to the UN Race to Zero, SME Climate Hub and 1.5 Supply Chain Leaders, which bring together practitioners, experts and methods based on the latest science.

Together we develop digital climate support for companies and their suppliers.

Together we develop digital climate support for companies and their suppliers.

“We want to motivate and empower suppliers in order to set climate targets in line with science, and take action. To further accelerate emission reductions, the tool will be open for everyone to use.” – Viveka Risberg, Program Manager Sustainable Production and Consumption, Axfoundation.

Partners

The project is run by Axfoundation and Exponential Roadmap Initiative together with AxfoodKicks, Martin & Servera and the Swedish Trade Federation. The climate education tool is produced by AskKauko, Finnish tech company specialized in visualizing sustainability communication.

Contact

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