Delivering Net Zero through the Supply Chain

We are working on a very exciting project with multiple partners in Higher Education (HE).

Currently, across the HE Sector, supply chain emissions are calculated on a spend basis, meaning that the more that is spent on goods and services, the higher the carbon emissions. This means that sustainability interventions or decisions to use more sustainable suppliers do not result in lowering the Scope 3 carbon footprint of universities, particularly if they cost more. To meet sector wide Net Zero commitments, it is essential that supply chain emissions are decoupled from expenditure.

In November 2023, Nottingham Trent University and NETpositive Futures launched a 1-year Action Research Project for interested universities across the sector to use the NET Zero Carbon Supplier Tool with their own supply chains. Thirty-one HE institutions signed up and are now rolling out the Tool to their suppliers.

The Net Zero Carbon Supplier Tool uses the carbon emissions from individual suppliers to help calculate the university supply chain carbon footprint. Not only does the tool provide suppliers with a carbon footprint based on energy and fuel use (Scopes 1&2), but it also supports them in developing bespoke carbon reduction action plans. Over time this commitment of suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint will support universities to reduce their own carbon footprints.

This is the only tool in the sector that uses supplier-based carbon emissions to calculate the carbon footprint of supply chains. It is also the only sector tool to offer suppliers bespoke carbon reduction action plans at no cost. The Tool is the first online platform to allow multiple universities to collaboratively engage with their supply chains on Net Zero.

The purpose of this project is to develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms required to:

  • Accurately measure and report supply chain emissions
  • Understand the barriers and solutions to engaging with suppliers on carbon reduction
  • Reduce the reliance on spend based carbon emission data
  • Stimulate collaboration between procurement and sustainability professionals within the HE sector

If you would like to find out more get in touch.

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