A Sneak Peek at the New Rules for Supply Chain Footprinting

The art and science of carbon footprinting is about to take a step forward: The long-awaited launch of guidance for managing network and product lifecycle impacts is just around the corner. If that’s news to you — and you have anything to do with managing a business with a significant supply chain — here’s yourContinue reading “A Sneak Peek at the New Rules for Supply Chain Footprinting”

Why Russia is the Land of Opportunity for Climate Action

Managers who want to lead on climate and energy should be looking carefully at Russia, where President Dmitry Medvedev has decreed a 40 percent reduction in energy intensity over the next decade. The potential for scale is immense: Russia is one of the most inefficient countries in the world, the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gasesContinue reading “Why Russia is the Land of Opportunity for Climate Action”

Making Customers Behave: Download from the Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference

I just returned from the sold-out Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference, a three-day event examining ways to understand decision making on climate and energy. Here are a few ideas I took away: There’s opportunity in teaching climate awareness. Gallup’s Anita Pugliese and George Mason University’s (GMU) Ed Maibach and Connie Roser-Renouf all pointed toContinue reading “Making Customers Behave: Download from the Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference”

The Latest CDP Results Reveal the Rise of Scope 3 Reporting

Last month’s release of the Global 500 Report, Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) annual summary of climate reporting by the world’s 500 largest companies, gives the most insight to date on corporations’ reporting about climate change and their supply chains. What does it tell us? First, the number of companies reporting on their supply chains continuesContinue reading “The Latest CDP Results Reveal the Rise of Scope 3 Reporting”

FTC’s New Anti-Greenwashing, Good-for-Business Green Guides

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its long-awaited draft guidance on environmental marketing. The so-called “Green Guides” tell companies how to prevent misleading customers—and avoid FTC actions against them. Why now? The FTC says consumers are confused about environmental claims such as “sustainable” or “offset,” which lack consistent rules for usage. In response,Continue reading “FTC’s New Anti-Greenwashing, Good-for-Business Green Guides”

3 Surefire Steps to Bring Climate Transparency to Your Supply Chain

With the release of guidance on supply chain reporting by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol just around the corner, companies will soon have more clarity on how to manage “Scope 3” emissions.  At the same time, companies such as HP and others in BSR’s Energy Efficiency Partnership are working with a growing number of suppliers onContinue reading “3 Surefire Steps to Bring Climate Transparency to Your Supply Chain”

BSR Kicks Off New Energy Management Collaboration…and Just in Time

I’ve just returned from China where I attended the launch of BSR’s Energy Efficiency Partnership (EEP), a working group of 11 member companies working with 80 of their suppliers on energy management. Participants discussed the many reasons why this is an important—and urgent—issue for their companies. Starbucks’ Director of Ethical Sourcing Kelly Goodejohn explained inContinue reading “BSR Kicks Off New Energy Management Collaboration…and Just in Time”

Five Lessons from Walmart’s Supply Chain Work in China

Late in 2008, following Walmart Vice Chairman (now CEO) Mike Duke’s announcement that the company would improve the energy efficiency of its top 200 China-based suppliers by 20 percent by 2012, Walmart enlisted BSR to help launch its first supply chain energy-efficiency efforts in China. From our post in Walmart’s Shenzhen global procurement headquarters, weContinue reading “Five Lessons from Walmart’s Supply Chain Work in China”

10 Climate Trends That Will Shape Business in 2010

As 2010 begins, there are looming questions about climate change action: Will the political agreement made in Copenhagen in 2009 be developed by the next “COP” meeting to include detailed targets and rules? Will those targets and rules be binding? What will happen with the U.S. Senate’s vote on cap-and-trade? Will U.S. public opinion aboutContinue reading “10 Climate Trends That Will Shape Business in 2010”

Here’s a Plan B

Our global climate agenda may need a Plan B, but if we are to choose the right one, some popular misconceptions need to be clarified. Fossil fuels are not cheap. Utility bills and per-gallon prices are just the tip of the iceberg of our energy costs. Governments pay hundreds of billions of dollars every yearContinue reading “Here’s a Plan B”

A Green Supply Chain Starts in China

As companies work to reduce their carbon footprint, the easiest steps to take are often the closest to home. Yet for companies with global operations or supply chains, the biggest practical wins are likely to be found in improving energy efficiency of owned and supplier facilities overseas, where they have the ability to multiply impactsContinue reading “A Green Supply Chain Starts in China”

The Nexus of Climate Change and Human Rights

Though climate change and human rights are important corporate responsibility issues on their own terms, they are increasingly interrelated.  As our global climate destabilizes, there will be an increase in water stress, food scarcity, the prevalence and intensity of diseases, and the loss of homelands and jobs around the world. In turn, climate change isContinue reading “The Nexus of Climate Change and Human Rights”

Whose Carbon Is It? The ABCs of Counting Emissions in Your Supply Chain

Many companies have started scrambling to understand their indirect emissions — specifically, emissions in their supply chain — and for good reason. According to a report by McKinsey that examined consumer goods makers, high-tech players, and other manufacturers, 40 to 60 percent of their total carbon footprint resides upstream in their supply chain. Knowing aboutContinue reading “Whose Carbon Is It? The ABCs of Counting Emissions in Your Supply Chain”

What New Climate Change Policies Will Mean for Your Business

To read about policy developments taking place this year, see “Looking for Signs Along the Road to Copenhagen.” Listen to advice from Ryan on positioning your business at “Reading the Tea Leaves of Evolving Climate Change Policy.”] As global leaders prepare to negotiate an updated version of the Kyoto Treaty at the U.N. Climate ChangeContinue reading “What New Climate Change Policies Will Mean for Your Business”

Field Notes: Helping Guide GHG Protocol’s “Scope 3”

As BSR goes to press with “Looking for Signs Along the Road to Copenhagen,” the debate about whose emissions are whose and what constitutes progress is heating up. It is going to get hotter, because it looks more likely that the WTO will enforce prospective border measures on carbon. Hopefully, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol’sContinue reading “Field Notes: Helping Guide GHG Protocol’s “Scope 3””

Climate Change Lessons from the Slopes

A recent study presented at last month’s American Geophysical Union conference holds chilling news for the $2 billion U.S. ski industry: Climate change might end skiing in Aspen and Park City by 2100. It stands to reason that if the snow pack dries up, the ski industry could, too. But the study from Mark WilliamsContinue reading “Climate Change Lessons from the Slopes”

Five Reasons You Should Consider Generating Your Own Green Energy

Over the past six months, oil prices have plunged more than 50 percent, renewable energy company asset values have taken an even bigger dive, and financial institutions have collapsed completely, leading to a worldwide credit crunch. Is this really the best time for your company to be thinking about generating renewable energy onsite? Before answering,Continue reading “Five Reasons You Should Consider Generating Your Own Green Energy”

Creating Systemic Change: Lessons from Responsible Labor

Just one decade ago, the public was appalled to learn that children were producing Nike’s soccer balls in Pakistan, and the company was swiftly targeted by numerous high-profile, antagonistic NGO campaigns. Since then, more companies have come under fire by NGOs publicizing alleged corporate social and environmental abuses. Yet Nike — along with a handfulContinue reading “Creating Systemic Change: Lessons from Responsible Labor”

A-B-C-Design: Engaging the Whole Company in Developing Sustainable Products

Given the sheer number of items we purchase, use and throw away every year, it’s no surprise that consumer products are the ultimate drivers of carbon emissions. In that context, product design is critical for addressing climate change. As the concentration point for a large set of decisions about human and material resource flows, productContinue reading “A-B-C-Design: Engaging the Whole Company in Developing Sustainable Products”

The Difference Between Product and Supply Chain Footprinting

As more companies gain carbon management experience, they are expanding work from their scope of direct operations to a broader sphere of influence. Expansion is happening through two main efforts — product footprinting and supply chain footprinting, both of which are based on broadening from the organization to the inter-organizational value chain system. Each hasContinue reading “The Difference Between Product and Supply Chain Footprinting”