Working in partnership to reduce carbon emissions throughout the supply chain


Provided by
Ian Wilson
CEO DHL Express UK
Wednesday 28 June 2023 13:24 BST
Globalisation and Net Zero: With work, the two can co-exist
Globalisation and Net Zero: With work, the two can co-exist (iStock)

DHL Express UK is a Business Reporter client.

Despite the many economic challenges 2022 presented, sustainability remains front of mind for businesses and consumers. Conversations have matured from discussing how businesses should approach sustainability to focusing on the specifics of decarbonisation, and innovations are breaking through with hopeful frequency. Now is the time for businesses to explore the full potential of carbon reduction throughout their operations.

For most companies on their journey to Net Zero, the starting point is often addressing the emissions that arise directly from their own operations. Known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions, these are mostly within an organisation’s control. However, these are only a very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to an organisation’s carbon footprint. To make serious headway toward reaching global Net Zero targets, businesses need to look further afield, as more than 70 per cent of an organisation’s carbon footprint is usually generated elsewhere on the value chain.

Over the next 12 months, the Scope 3 emissions of businesses are set to be thrust even further into the spotlight. A wave of regulatory reforms is scheduled to come into play that will make Scope 3 reporting mandatory for many businesses, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s proposed Sustainability Disclosure Requirements and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards. For companies involved in importing and exporting goods, being aware of the extent of their Scope 3 emissions as well as the opportunities to bring them down will be critical.

Unlike Scope 1 and 2 emissions, Scope 3 emissions are not easily ring-fenced and are much more difficult to accurately track. Organisations have less oversight when it comes to the sustainability credentials of suppliers, so it is critical they choose to partner with businesses that share the same ambitions, are equally dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint through their own operations and can support in the measurement of carbon emissions.

Given that a large proportion of emissions come from supply chains, working with your logistics partners is an important step in tackling Scope 3 emissions. That’s why DHL has recently launched GoGreen Plus, a service that gives customers the option to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF, which is made from waste materials such as used cooking oil, municipal waste and woody biomass, produces up to 80 per cent less CO2 emissions than fossil fuel, making it the best option currently available for carbon emissions in aviation.

Unlike offsetting initiatives, GoGreen Plus reduces emissions within the logistics sector and therefore can be used for DHL customers’ own voluntary emissions reporting.

Globalisation has become essential to the world economy, and exporting continues to be a huge opportunity for many businesses, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of the environmental ambitions of those businesses. By choosing to work with partners that are committed to achieving global Net Zero targets, exporters can actively start reducing their Scope 3 emissions while continuing to thrive.

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