In July of 2009, Walmart announced the launch of its Supplier Sustainability Assessment (SSA), the first phase of a Sustainability Index project aimed at improving Walmart’s supply chain sustainability. The assessment is comprised of 15 questions in four categories: Energy & Climate, Material Efficiency, Nature & Resources, and People & Community.
For many suppliers the easiest early wins in supply chain sustainability are in the Energy & Climate section of the assessment. This blog offers our suggestions for how to respond to the E&C questions on the SSA.
Question #1: Have you measured your corporate greenhouse gas emissions? (Y/N)
WHAT TO DO: Measure
HOW TO DO IT: Conduct a greenhouse gas inventory
WHAT IS A GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY? A greenhouse gas inventory is a comprehensive and documented accounting of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to an organization’s operations. Common emission sources include:
- Purchased electricity & steam
- Company-owned fleet
- Natural gas
- Employee commuting
- Business travel
- Waste stream
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Greenhouse gas inventories can help your company identify conservation and efficiency opportunities that cannot only reduce your contribution to greenhouse gas pollution and global climate change, but can also save you money by reducing electricity bills and fuel usage. The cost of a greenhouse gas inventory can often pay for itself in a short amount of time.
Question #2: Have you opted to report your greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)? (Y/N)
WHAT TO DO: Report
HOW TO DO IT: Sign up for a free CDP account and report your emissions through the online reporting system (ORS)
WHAT IS THE CARBON DISCLOSURE PROJECT? The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an independent not-for-profit organization that collects and distributes information on how companies across the globe are responding to climate change, on behalf of 475 institutional investors (banks, pension funds, insurance companies) and over 50 companies and government departments.
Question #3: What are your total greenhouse gas emissions reported in your most recently completed report?
HOW TO DO IT: Track your emissions data closely, complete the CDP Survey, and update your Supplier Sustainability Assessment in Walmart’s Retail Link
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: By setting internal benchmarks and understanding the detailed measurement of your emissions as a whole and by specific source such as electricity or truck fleet and natural gas, you can set manageable reduction goals and monitor success over time.
Question #4: Have you set publicly available greenhouse gas reduction targets? If yes, what are those targets?
WHAT TO DO: Communicate your reduction targets
HOW TO DO IT: Publish results & benchmarks
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Publishing targets demonstrates your leadership and appeals to a growing market for environmentally-responsible products. We’ve helped brands like Whole Foods Market, Burt’s Bees, and Best Buy engage more customers and garner national media attention with our award-winning marketing and outreach support.