Ecological footprint along the supply chain

Eco­lo­gi­cal Im­pact Ana­ly­sis

In view of the great opportunities that companies have to influence the state of the natural environment, more and more companies are evaluating the environmental impact of their business activities. The aim is to determine both the options for action in terms of sustainable development and the company’s exposure to new risks.

With the ecological impact analysis, we offer a novel approach to assessing sustainability performance through meaningful indicators and to identifying hotspots in global supply chains.

Evaluations that are limited to environmental performance within the company’s own walls give a very incomplete picture. The greatest environmental impacts often occur in supply chains.

For various reasons it is important to know one’s own value chain:

  • Companies that have a detailed overall picture of all their environmental impacts in the supply chain make decisions on a solid data basis and can precisely control improvements.
  • The localization of hotspots makes it possible to identify opportunities and risks in advance.
  • An exact knowledge of the ecological effects, especially in connection with the knowledge of socio-economic effects, enables a well-founded dialogue with stakeholders and a purposeful joint action in the sense of sustainable development.

The consideration of supply chains therefore also plays an important role in many sustainability standards, e.g., in the environmental management standards ISO 14001 and EMAS (Life Cycle Assessment), or in the Scope 3 standard of the WBCSD/WRI Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, which regulates the determination of upstream and downstream GHG emissions.

Our ecological impact analysis quantifies the environmental impacts of an organization along the entire supply chain, e.g., in terms of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, land use and waste generation. The analysis enables us to draw a holistic picture of environmental performance along the global value chain and identify critical hotspots in the supply chain. In addition, the environmental performance can be presented on the basis of official statistics in an industry comparison and in comparison with the entire economy and relevant policy objectives (e.g. the SDGs). The analysis is carried out according to the internationally recognised method of input-output analysis extended by environmental aspects, which is also recommended by the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard.

Our unique model is based on official and scientifically recognized databases that cover almost all economies in the world. It enables the quantification of direct environmental influences as well as global indirect and induced effects (so-called spillover effects), which can be broken down at supply chain level as well as at country, industry or even supplier level.

Dr. Marcus Cramer

Forschungsleiter Impact-Analysen

Forschungsschwerpunkte Nachhaltigkeit, Sozialpolitik, Wertschöpfung, Innovation & Forschung & Entwicklung

+49 30 232566 6-50
marcus.cramer@wifor.com