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Value chain & supply chain sustainability

We help large organisations to cut costs, improve efficiency and become more resilient by taking action on value chain and supply chain carbon emissions and resource use.


The most significant environmental impacts for many businesses often lie either upstream (supply chain) or downstream (product use phase) outside the boundaries of their direct operational control.

Our expert advice helps you to assess the carbon emissions and resource impacts across your organisation's value chain and supply chain; informing strategies that deliver efficiency and reputational gains, savings to the bottom line and ultimately increased revenue.

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Value chain services

We help large organisations understand the environmental impact of their value chain in order to make better decisions that will protect and grow margins.

Benefits of value chain analysis

Minimise risk and enable better decisions

Value chain insights provide an essential survival tool for businesses to avoid risks and maximise on opportunities from a resource constrained future.  A holistic view of resources and environmental impact helps all business units to understand how their actions influence the broader value chain.

As shown in the diagram, value chain data prioritises and accelerates action across the organisation that can deliver financial and environmental benefits.  This demonstrates to investors the long term viability of the business through strategic risk and cost reduction.

Identify hotspots and prioritise action

Analysing value chain data will help identify your organisation's environmental and cost hotspots. Data can be evaluated by a wide range of metrics: by supplier, materials, brand, region, lifecycle stage or packaging format.

This holistic view of the value chain fosters better collaboration across business units and between value chain partners.  It helps businesses to ground their strategies with measured data and adds credibility to their sustainability programmes.


Is your value chain fit for the future?

Our value chain services help your business to quantify the financial and environmental impacts for a range of future scenarios, illustrating the interconnection between:

  • Business Growth - What impact will different growth strategies have for different regions?
  • Product Design - How do decisions impact the supply chain or the customer use phase?
  • Supply Chain Configuration - Which suppliers are at most risk from fluctuating energy prices or climate change impacts?
  • Risk Assessment - Modelling the risk of product obsolesce or erosion of market share as more environmentally sustainable alternatives products are introduced.

Download our Value chain services overview (PDF)

How we can help

The Carbon Trust provides a range of services to suit the complexity of different business, the availability of data and their existing in-house footprinting capabilities. For some companies we undertake the data collection and modelling effort, while others with more resources require only expert guidance and challenge to their existing activities.

Getting the ‘measurement’ step right is essential. We can use the data you’ve already got to glean meaningful actionable insights. 

Our analysis enables businesses to make confident decisions in areas such as setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) targets and prioritising interventions and investments. Ultimately it helps businesses to optimise the environmental impacts and costs of using resources across their value chain.

Telefónica has developed several projects in collaboration with the Carbon Trust. Based on their experience in the Telecoms sector, they have helped us to improve our Scope 3 methodology. We have also worked with them to calculate the GHG emissions avoided in our clients’ operations thanks to some of our digital services - what is called Net Positive. The Carbon Trust has a great team of professionals with extensive experience on climate change that enables them to provide consultancy services that truly add value to international companies such Telefónica.

Maya Ormazabal Herrero, Environmental Manager, Telefónica

Contact us for more information on value chain services

Case studies

We worked with thyssenkrupp to create a value chain footprinting tool to evaluate the upstream and downstream impact of the business globally, providing a better understanding of how the company's product innovations and technical expertise can be used to achieve reductions beyond their direct operational control.

Value Chain footprinting has helped GSK identify the key impacts across their value chain. 51% is in the supply chain and 30% is in their products’ use phase.

Landsec worked with the Carbon Trust to develop a methodology and Scope 3 model that enabled the company to measure carbon emissions across its entire value chain.

Supply chain services

We help large organisations and their suppliers to cut costs, improve efficiency and become more resilient by taking action on supply chain carbon emissions and resource use.

Benefits of action on supply chain sustainability

Reducing carbon emissions, resource consumption and waste in the supply chain improves profitability and strengthens resilience to external pressures – from market volatility to physical climate impacts. Carbon Trust research shows that a moderate increase in energy or carbon prices along the supply chain can have a material impact on buyer profit margins, with resource risks adding further pressure. On the other hand, significant supply chain cost savings are achievable through straightforward efficiency measures.

Working collaboratively with suppliers to reduce carbon and improve resource efficiency in your supply chain has tangible benefits:

  • More competitive suppliers managing their costs and risks, therefore able to win more business.
  • Improved resilience and competitiveness for your business, as well as reputational benefits.
  • Better value product and services for your customers.

Download our Sustainable supply chain services overview (PDF)


How we can help

We offer a collaborative and pragmatic approach to helping our clients develop more sustainable supply chains, bringing to bear years of experience coupled with tools and methodologies to provide actionable insight.

This includes best practice benchmarking, scenario analysis and value at stake and changing business models.  Our experts can help you design and establish measures to promote supplier excellence and continual improvement. These include:

  • Performance standards and incentives
  • Supplier development
  • Collaborative problem-solving 
Tesco store

Tesco Buying Club

Tesco called upon our supply chain expertise to help develop a collaborative Buying Club for Tesco suppliers, encouraging investment in energy efficiency with access to substantial discounts and advice that’s now available to 700+ business members of the Tesco Knowledge Hub; a global online community that provides a platform to share information, experience and best practice.

Tesco supply chain carbon management case study


Supply Chain Diagnostic

If you want to understand where to start on your journey, to develop a plan of action, or benchmark your performance against best practice, our Supply Chain Diagnostic will help you rapidly determine where to focus effort. The diagnostic helps organisations to quantify risks and opportunities, build an initial case for action, and assess where management processes and strategies can be improved. Areas of action are tailored to the priorities and context of organisations, and can range from energy and carbon to water and security of supply.

Certify your supply chain action

The Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain rewards organisations that take a targeted approach to their supply chain by engaging with suppliers to identify, measure and manage carbon emission hotspots with a view to achieving year-on-year reductions.

We have worked closely with the Carbon Trust over a number of years and we are pleased to see our collective efforts come to fruition. Our broader sustainability agenda has developed from energy efficiency in our operations, to carbon, renewable energy, water and waste reduction, through to our supply chain goals.

David Featherston, Director, Environmental Engineering, GSK

Contact us for more information on sustainable supply chain services

Supply Chain web

Supply chain transformation and resource efficiency

This white paper examines the key drivers of supply chain risk and opportunity for companies through the perspective of energy and climate change.

Download the white paper

CDP supply chain report cover

Big buyers harness the power of purchasing

Some of the world’s biggest businesses and public sector organisations are using their influence to drive sustainability improvements throughout their supply chains.

Read more

Value Chain and Supply Chain Viewpoints

Get in touch

Contact us to discuss how our value chain analysis or supply chain services can help your organisation


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