Packaged goods leaders form greenhouse gas coalition

Feb. 15, 2008

Some of the world’s highest profile food companies have begun a campaign to encourage their suppliers to report greenhouse-gas emissions – in the process, pressuring thousands of vendors and factories to take steps to battle climate change.

Both Environmental Leader and the Wall Street Journal reported the creation last year of Supply Chain Leadership Coalition, which includes Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever, Nestlé SA, Cadbury Schweppes Plc, Tesco Plc and Imperial Tobacco Group. They are collectively pressing suppliers to release data about carbon emissions and climate change mitigation strategies.

The group apparently was formed in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, a London-based nonprofit organization that publishes data on the carbon footprints, or carbon dioxide emissions, of many of the world's largest companies. The CDP apparently will survey the suppliers about their carbon emissions on behalf of the companies in the coalition.

The Journal theorized the companies in the coalition eventually could use the information to evaluate suppliers, much as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is doing with its environmentally conscious packaging scorecard. Wal-Mart also apparently is working with the CDP to monitor the energy efficiency of its suppliers.

As we noted in the October 2007 Editor’s Plate, a number of European companies are trying to label individual products with carbon-emissions data. The Journal said Cadbury Schweppes “is trying to figure out how much carbon is released in the process of making a Dairy Milk chocolate bar, from the dairy farm through the factory.

Eventually, the company plans to stamp the bars with a carbon footprint number, alongside the calorie count.”

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