New Cooperation Aims to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Dutch supermarket chains Jumbo, Lidl, purchasing organisation Superunie and international buying alliance EMD, have all entered into an agreement to map CO2 emissions in their production chains. The parties will work together to obtain essential data from suppliers. The initiator of this collaboration is ImpactBuying.

“Retailers who want to reduce their CO2 emissions are facing a major data gap,” says Leontien Hasselman-Plugge, co-CEO of ImpactBuying. “Behind every stocked supermarket is an extremely complex chain of producers and suppliers, with branches all over the world and products that sometimes change hands countless times. More than 90 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from these products come from these chains.”

This is where the greatest opportunities are for reducing CO2 emissions. But this is only possible if it is clear what the emissions per product are now, what the producer or retailer has done to reduce them and where the best opportunities for reduction in the chains are. There is little exact data. Even if improvements take place, they have to be accurately measured and reported. Over the past year, ImpactBuying has laid the foundation for the current collaboration. It turned out that a simple and standardized way of collecting emissions data is crucial and possible.

The data from suppliers will provide supermarkets with insight into how CO2 is currently calculated, what the suppliers' reduction targets are and whether these are being achieved. It also looks at how CO2 emissions per product can be calculated on a large scale. Supermarkets want to know the CO2 emissions per product to be able to take responsibility for the products on their shelves. By working together, the supermarket chains also want to figure out how to make data collection manageable and reliable, even if it involves a huge amount of data.