The Green Supply Chain Initiative of the World Resources Institute (WRI) will develop and deploy a new set of accounting tools to measure the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of a companys supply chain and of the products that are sold to customers. The project, which is funded by Walmart, also involves creating a web tool that will bring clarity to the various environmental certifications given to products.
"Sustainability is becoming a driver of business strategy for smart companies. Sustainability trends affect competitiveness, costs, regulatory risk and market position," said WRI president Jonathan Lash."The companies that reduce emissions along their supply chains will capture new markets with their green offerings while preserving the environment and improving worker health and safety."
Support from Walmart will also go toward developing a "Green Standards Guide" to help companies navigate through the "green" claims of different environmental certifications or labels. It will help companies decide which eco-labels their organizations will recognize through a standard set of eco-label evaluation criteria.
"Measuring greenhouse gas emissions is the first step to managing them," said Rand Waddoups, senior director of sustainability for Walmart."We think WRI can play an invaluable role in helping others understand the environmental and business benefit of collecting emissions information across the entire supply chain."
The GHG Protocol is an international accounting standard used by businesses to identify, calculate and report their own emissions. It was developed by the WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 1998.
Pankaj Bhatia director of GHG Protocol Initiative at WRI said, "These new standards will provide a framework that companies can use to evaluate a supplier's performance, identify where emissions could be reduced along the supply chain or product life cycle and track the progress of GHG-reduction investments."
The grant also enables WRI to improve the environmental performance of suppliers in China by working with the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environment Affairs (IPE). The partnership will allow WRI to develop best-practice case studies for Chinese firms. These case studies, which can be used as training materials for industry, will highlight the practical and effective solutions adopted by China-based suppliers in resolving common environmental challenges such as water and air pollution.