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Packaging Firms Want Suppliers to Log Energy Data

Linda Hardesty

packagingGlobal packaging firms MeadWestVaco Corporation, Multi Packaging Solutions and Ellis Paperbox have signed-up to Ecodesk, an open platform to measure and analyze supply chain energy use and carbon emissions.

By reaching out to their suppliers and developing relationships to share energy data, these companies can identify possible areas of improvement and cost savings in the supply chain. Each company is using the Ecodesk platform to openly publish its sustainability data but also to link with suppliers and develop a clear map of supply chain energy use and carbon emissions.

But how will these packaging companies get their suppliers to share energy data?

A spokesman for Ecodesk says,” These companies are using Ecodesk to contact suppliers directly to measure and report to the site, using our profile-based approach. As there is some overlap between suppliers (which means they will be asked by more than one customer to report), the profile approach means they only have to do it once and share it with any customers that request data, as profiles are open and free. The drivers for suppliers to report are of course to keep customers happy but also to realise their own potential benefits in terms of energy management.”

Ecodesk considers itself the “LinkedIn of sustainability,” allowing users to search, analyze and compare suppliers using what it says is the largest sustainability database worldwide, with more than 1 million company profiles.

A report “Reducing Risk and Driving Business Value,” published by the CDP and Accenture, found that seventy percent of companies believe that climate change has the potential to negatively impact their revenue; but found there was a gap between major multinational companies that belong to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and their suppliers. Major purchasing organizations that are CDP Supply Chain program members include Dell, Coca-Cola and Walmart.

And an energy efficiency bill introduced in the Senate last week, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, would establish a volunteer Department of Energy program – SupplySTAR – to help improve the efficiency of corporate supply chains.

Here’s a list of the top 15 supply-chain stories of 2012 published by sister magazine, Environmental Leader.



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