Anybody watching the demonstration in London over Easter might be forgiven for thinking the rest of the world is ignoring sustainability issues.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. And the latest example of activity in the supply chain comes from Walmart, owner of Asda, which has joined forces with HSBC to launch a finance programme that pegs a supplier’s financing rate to its sustainability performance.
Under the scheme, Walmart suppliers who demonstrate progress in Walmart’s Project Gigaton or Sustainability Index Programme will be able to apply for improved financing from HSBC based on their sustainability ratings.
Project Gigaton was set up by the retailer to avoid one billion tonnes of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030 through supplier commitments.
Walmart’s Sustainability Index Program gathers and analyses information across a product’s life cycle, and was developed by The Sustainability Consortium.
As HSBC’s Natalie Blyth points out, for many large corporations the biggest environmental impact comes from the supply chain rather than the organisation itself.
And increasingly companies are pushing suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, Apple recently announced that it has almost doubled the number of suppliers that have committed to run their Apple production on 100 per cent clean energy.
Last year jeans maker Levi Strauss set out plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain by 40 per cent by 2025.
Last week, the European Parliament agreed proposals to cut CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles by 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. And an increasing number of cities, notably London, that are introducing ultra low emissions zones.
Clearly, there is no room for complacency, but it is practical and well thought out strategies that will make the difference.