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PG&E to Measure, Reduce Supply Chain Emissions

California’s largest utility, PG&E, will start auditing its supply chain emissions in an effort to identify opportunities to reduce emissions, according to a report on Next 100.

The project will survey 50 of PG&E’s suppliers, with three to five eventually being selected for case study profiles to look at ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A multi-year analysis of the company’s carbon footprint is planned which will include recommendations on best practices.

The company announced that it would be working with environmental accounting group Climate Earth Inc. and the University of California Berkeley to examine the GHG emissions embedded in its supply chain, what are known as Scope 3 emissions, in order to make more informed purchasing decisions. The company has a $4 billion purchasing budget, according to the report, which includes items ranging from office furniture and fleet vehicles to power generation and transmission equipment.

According to the report, the analysis will adhere to protocols established by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

PG&E plans to examine its supply chain through a life-cycle assessment perspective to identify opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. Climate Earth is supplying the auditing software which will allow the utility to track emissions through time.

The project began June 1 and is slated to last a year. The project had its origins in a pilot program the company tested in 2007 and launched in 2009. PG&E would become the first utility to review its Scope 3 emissions.

In May, Procter & Gamble launched a sustainability scorecard and rating process to measure the environmental performance of its key suppliers.

Formula One recently announced it would be looking at its supply chain as part of its attempts to reduce its GHG emissions, as did Ford Motor Company. Shanghai General Motors recently cut 80 million kWh out of its supply chain.

Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is targeting a reduction of 20 million metric tons from its supply chain by 2015.

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