Supply chain energy efficiency critical to reducing carbon footprint

New report offers strategies business, government, nonprofits and the financial community can use to boost life cycle energy efficiency.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
August 07, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint need to pay attention to the energy they use as well as the energy used by links in their supply chains, according to a new report.

The University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment’s NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, along with the Environmental Defense Fund, provide suggestions on why and how to reduce energy consumption 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, financers, retailers, nongovernmental organi­zations, government and academia from around the world, the report provides a 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,” said symposium organizer and researcher Jennifer Schmitt.

To realize these opportunities 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.

The report highlights four recommendations coming out of the symposium that span across the many actors involved in saving a kilowatt hour:

1. Engage leading companies to identify high-quality suppliers for pilot supply chain energy efficiency improvements.

2. Create one or more sector-based collaborations for improving supply chain energy efficiency by assembling groups of peer manufacturers within a supply chain and using benchmarking, process capability analysis and best practice sharing to identify and improve energy efficiency and industry competitiveness.

3. Increase transparency and standardization of energy use, audits and supply chain information.

4. Create finance and credit risk approaches and models for portfolio-level energy efficiency and energy management projects.

“These recommendations, coming out of our discussions at the symposium, provide an unprecedented ability to characterize and benchmark sector-level and facility-level energy savings opportunities, share knowledge in ways that allow for the flexible application of technological and organizational information in a supply chain environment, and coordinate resources across regions and across public and private actors,” Schmitt said. “Approaching energy efficiency through the supply chain holds great potential for both carbon and financial savings.”

Click here to view and download a copy of the report.



Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced August 2014 data for global air freight markets showing continued “robust”growth in air cargo volumes.

Even though some of its key metrics dropped sequentially from August to September, the outlook for manufacturing over all remains strong, according to the most recent edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued today by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Company officials said that these planned changes, which will take effect on January 4, 2015, will provide for increases in current pay rates and reduce the time it takes for its nearly 15,000 drivers to reach top pay scale.

While the economy has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years, 2014 is different in that it could be the best year from an economic output perspective in the last several years. That outlook was offered up by Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Matching last week, the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline dropped 2.3 cents, bringing the average price per gallon to $3.755 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Article Topics

News · Sustainability · Supply Chain · Energy · Education · All topics

About the Author

Josh Bond, Associate Editor
Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce. Contact Josh Bond

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.