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As we get closer and closer to net zero emission targets, it is critical that all industries tackle the challenge in any way possible, said Supply Pilot chief executive James Butcher.

The biggest challenge is the lack of reporting of Scope 3 emissions by suppliers, he explained.

“Many parts of the supply chain don’t measure data or impact, so have little to no idea where their product’s emissions coming from, what the impact source is and what its true carbon footprint looks like. However, retailers hold the cards in this situation, and the key is for them to leverage their impact and influence on the supply chain to make a difference.

“If – as is the case with many suppliers – they don’t have the data to work from or the carbon literacy to understand what it means for their business, the key then becomes understanding the supplier’s readiness and tailoring the approach around that.”

Retailer led

Much of the work surrounding emissions in the supply chain would be led by retailers, Butcher suggested.

“Manufacturers are influenced by their key relationships with retailers and brands as well as by regulatory oversight, so it falls to retailers and the government to invest in the tools and knowledge to implement and collaborate in a way that trickles down throughout the supply chain,”​ he continued.

Butcher suggested some quick wins to help reducing emissions. While they won’t feel like much now – akin to ‘turning up to a gunfight with a pea shooter’ – these small actions soon add up to a greater whole.