Executive Briefings

Recognizing Energy Saving Potential in the Supply Chain

Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint need to pay attention to the energy they use. But at least as important - and in some cases even more so - is paying attention to the energy used by links in their supply chain.

The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, provide valuable suggestions on why and how to do so in a new report, "Supply Chain Energy Efficiency: Engaging Small & Medium Entities in Global Production Systems."

Based on a two-day workshop tapping the brains of 31 representatives of energy service companies, financiers, retailers, non-governmental organizations, government and academia from around the world, the report provides an intriguing look into thinking about industrial energy efficiency within the system of a supply chain, and highlights opportunities for corresponding cost-, reputation- and energy-saving improvements.

"The industrial sector consumes nearly one-third of all global primary energy, and the opportunities for improving energy efficiency in the industrial sector are vast," says symposium organizer and researcher Jennifer Schmitt. To realize these opportunities, she says, we must manage energy across organizations, industry sectors, supply chains and regions, which will require significant new, and increasingly more transparent data, common metrics and analytics. Public and private collaboration will be crucial to reduce the transaction costs of implementing supply chain energy efficiency, particularly with regard to credit enhancement, technology provider accreditation and governmental policies.

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The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, provide valuable suggestions on why and how to do so in a new report, "Supply Chain Energy Efficiency: Engaging Small & Medium Entities in Global Production Systems."

Based on a two-day workshop tapping the brains of 31 representatives of energy service companies, financiers, retailers, non-governmental organizations, government and academia from around the world, the report provides an intriguing look into thinking about industrial energy efficiency within the system of a supply chain, and highlights opportunities for corresponding cost-, reputation- and energy-saving improvements.

"The industrial sector consumes nearly one-third of all global primary energy, and the opportunities for improving energy efficiency in the industrial sector are vast," says symposium organizer and researcher Jennifer Schmitt. To realize these opportunities, she says, we must manage energy across organizations, industry sectors, supply chains and regions, which will require significant new, and increasingly more transparent data, common metrics and analytics. Public and private collaboration will be crucial to reduce the transaction costs of implementing supply chain energy efficiency, particularly with regard to credit enhancement, technology provider accreditation and governmental policies.

Read Full Article