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Net-Zero Challenge: The supply chain opportunity

By: World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group
Published: 2021
Access full report here.

Executive Summary abstract

Eight supply chains account for more than 50% of global emissions. Food, construction, fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, automotive, professional services and freight account for more than half of all global greenhouse gas emissions. A significant share is indirectly controlled by only a few companies.

Net-zero supply chains would hardly increase end-consumer costs. Around 40% of all emissions in these supply chains could be abated with readily available and affordable levers (<€10 [$12] per tonne of CO2 equivalent), such as circularity, efficiency and renewable power – with only marginal impact on product costs. Even with zero supply-chain emissions, end-consumer costs would go upby 1–4% at the most in the medium term.

But: decarbonizing supply chains is hard. Even leading companies struggle to get the data they need and to set clear targets and standards to which their suppliers must adhere. Engaging an often-fragmented supplier landscape is challenging – especially when emissions are “buried” deep in the supply chain, or when addressing them might require collective action at the industry level.

Read more at the full report.

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