VIEWS: Sustainable Supply Chains

Dispatched from SSC Intern Wendy Tng

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Sustainable Supply Chain Summit in San Francisco. Held over two days, this conference was an interesting discussion of the current opportunities and challenges facing sustainability managers in this country. What kind of new regulatory requirements do firms now have to deal with? What policies are being implemented to encourage employees to take sustainability more seriously?

It was interesting to hear conference participants share knowledge on these issues and more. One key issue that weighs on everyone’s minds is their response to carbon regulation. A presenter from the World Resources Institute spoke about current use and adoption of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Broadly, the Protocol is divided into 3 categories. Scope 1 pertains to all direct GHG emissions. Scope 2 covers the indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam. Scope 3 covers other indirect emissions, from along a company’s supply chain, for instance.

As companies move towards Scope 3 accounting, what kind of challenges do they face? Certainly trying to account for GHG emissions in a company’s supply chain does not seem to be an easy task.