Why net-zero needs to be part of your supply chain resilience strategy

2 Minutes Read

When you first think of resilient supply chains, going green is probably not your first thought. More likely, you’re thinking about the current strikes and port closures, how bad the next wave of Covid could be, increasing customer demands and the global recession. And, while those are all important considerations, decarbonising your supply chain needs to go on that list.

In fact, Graham Slack of Maersk shares that he feels reigning in your supply chain emissions is a crucial part of resilience for both now and in the future.

Learn more: Decarbonise your supply chain now



Decarbonising for resilience

Hitting your net-zero goals and eliminating your emissions are critical factors in your supply chain’s long term resilience. As customer behaviour and knowledge shifts, the need to go green is only set to rise. Results from a 2020 survey showed that green criteria already impact buying decisions. It’s likely that, with greater awareness, that will be an ongoing trend.

Apart from decarbonising for customer affinity, global policies will continue to be created to require limited emissions. ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) concerns are growing markers for success. As measuring ESG-related factors becomes more manageable, they will play into the long-term goals of many organisations.

In fact, 2023 sees the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) which will require an estimated 38,000 additional businesses to report on their emissions. Of these emissions, transport and supply chain often fall under the category of Scope 3 emissions and are noted for being complicated to both report on and manage.

Read more: Why tackling your Scope 3 emissions is important (and where to start)


Beyond net-zero: the physical impacts

The scientific community widely agrees that the world is now, most likely headed for a future of 2℃ warming. Even with our best efforts now. While far from the cataclysmic outcomes anticipated with higher degrees of warming, 2℃ means we’ll continue to see an increase in climate impacts.

This is important for a couple of reasons. First, even if we were able to keep our planet to 1.5℃, the current physical climate impacts wouldn’t magically disappear. We still need to think about mitigation. You’ll still have impacts that you need to consider things like:

  • Can your supply chain operate through things like heatwaves, wildfire and floods?
  • Can your factories and warehouses operate?
  • Can you get goods where they need to be?
  • Can you get your people to work?

Second, the changes that have already occurred have had bigger effects than scientists initially modelled. This means your supply chain needs to be adaptable, flexible. What is true now has no guarantee of being true in future years. We can expect instances of sea delays from typhoons and, on land, deadly heatwaves, wildfires, and both oceanic and river-based flooding to all increase. 


So as you plan and finalise your strategies for the next year, keep decarbonisation and climate in mind. Build a more resilient, greener supply chain and start the process now. 

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