Archives for February 2010

Improve the State of the World--A Quick Update

By Jonathan Wright | 02/10/2010 | 5:06 AM

Just over a week ago, I blogged about some of the achievements of the World Economic Forum’s Logistics & Transport Industry Group, which has been taking a look at ways to respond to growing interest in product-level carbon reporting by major manufacturers and retailers.


I’m proud to now be able to say that the members of the Forum’s Logistics & Transport Industry Group – supported by an Accenture project team – have just signed off on the set of guidelines for consignment-level carbon reporting.  The guidelines will help the sector to respond consistently and accurately to requests for emissions reporting from its manufacturing and retail customers and address topics such as defining the scope of emissions to report and how these emissions should be allocated in cases such as shared transport or backhaul.


These guidelines also complement  broader product-level carbon reporting standards which are either already available, or are in development, including the GHG Protocol Life Cycle and Scope 3 Standards, which are expected to be released at the end of 2010.


This voluntary agreement on consistent reporting is a great way for firms to begin to compete on their environmental efficiency.  I imagine there could be an increase in the number of firms adopting the guidelines as they become more widely known – as well as a likely adoption of similar approaches by other industries over time.


I certainly sense that the time for this is right, with the renewed interest in sustainability topics growing as the global economy comes out of recession.


Feel free to take a read of the full Consignment-Level Carbon Reporting Guidelines, or view a video of me outlining them in more detail online.

Improve the State of the World

By Jonathan Wright | 02/01/2010 | 1:00 PM

I’m writing this on the plane back to Singapore after a few days with the World Economic Forum in Davos.


The agenda was “Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild”--clearly a bold agenda but from the sessions I attended, it set the right tone. It was cold and snowy, which was to be expected and the security was unsurprisingly intense.  The trendy boarders and skiers were replaced by a strange mix of suits, briefcases and walking boots.  But when seated in the working sessions, the agenda was clear – how to get back to growth, but with climate change at front of mind.

“Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild” has been particularly evident in the logistics sector as we reflect on the challenges faced in 2008/09 and think about the opportunities of growing in a rapidly-changing world – be it repositioning ourselves in response to market convergence, developing new growth poles in key emerging markets--or even responding to renewed discussions with customers about carbon reporting.

Given that a recent Accenture survey highlighted that 90 percent consumers globally would be willing to switch to a new manufacturer if its product was certified as minimizing the climate change impact, carbon reporting is an important issue for this industry.  In recent posts, I’ve shared findings from other Accenture research that show that even among the best performing supply chain organizations, only 10 percent are actively modeling and managing their emissions in any detail.  Although this statistic is worrying, the challenge is even worse. The consumer is demanding more, and wants to understand the total carbon impact of a product or consignment that is handled by multiple parties, in multiple geographies, in multiple forms and states.


Tackling carbon emissions has been the focus of the World Economic Forum’s Logistics & Transport industry group, a group that we have had the pleasure of working with.  Last year, we collaborated on research that identified the top opportunities for reducing supply chain emissions, published in “Supply Chain Decarbonization.” Since then, we’ve been working with this industry group to think through responding to the growth in requests for product-level carbon footprint data.  We had an invigorating session at Davos last week and I look forward to sharing more with you about our progress.  It’s clear that agreeing on standards for product-level carbon footprint data could help make a big difference in providing what we call ‘corporate assurance’ – greater trust from consumers in the transparency and accuracy of information provided to them on packaging, on the internet and on marketing billboards.


My time in Davos reminded me how important it is to try and go the extra mile on these important environmental topics, even when they are hugely complex and require difficult decisions.  I am immensely proud to be working with the World Economic Forum on these topics, and look forward to sharing the outcomes with you.


In the meantime, I am looking forward to being back in the 95 degree heat of Singapore, after four days of 14 degrees!

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Jonathan Wright

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan Wright is a Singapore-based senior executive in Accenture's Supply Chain Management practice with global responsibility for the company's supply chain fulfillment client work. With 17 years' experience, he is a recognized thought leader in supply chain transformation and sustainability. He joined Accenture in 1997 after five years with Exxon Mobil Corp. Since joining Accenture, Wright has worked in the retail, communications, high-tech, and aerospace and defense sectors. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation.


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