RESOURCES: On the Road to Copenhagen – Decarbonizing the Supply Chain

The World Business Summit on Climate Change made it evident that a deal in Copenhagen this winter is in the interest of businesses, as well as in the interest of the planet. The event brought business leaders from across the globe to Denmark with the purpose of debating and providing input from the business community into the international climate negotiations, prior to their final round this winter. BSR was also there to run one of the backbone workshops, focusing on value chain solutions for building a low-carbon economy.

BSR provided a comprehensive background briefing for the summit which resulted in the document Value Chain Approaches to a Low-Carbon Economy: Business and Policy Partnerships, co-authored by former SSC Intern Christina Benz. This report presents an overview of how the issue of value chain solutions is emerging and what companies can do to shape positive outcomes. It exhibits a model that includes remaking procurement strategies, rethinking relationships embedded in value chains, looking for technological innovations, and engaging policymakers and consumers.

The paper is important as today’s supply chain architecture is under new pressures which will require us to rethink and remake current business models – and no industry is immune. Today’s complex and extended value chains do not factor in the cost of carbon, the predicted limits on the supply of valuable natural resource inputs such as water, or the societal and market pressures which increasingly stem from either of these issues.

The paper provides examples of industries that may be impacted the hardest, suggests strategies used by leading companies, and opens up considerations for business leaders who wish to work with buyers and suppliers to remain competitive and avoid climate-induced risks. Finally, the document addresses critical policy questions and issues which must be addressed for businesses to align at the industry level in order to create systemic change beyond their own four walls.

Access the paper by clicking here.