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The structural nature of global supply chain emissions and the potential influence of regions, industries and enterprises

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The reattribution of global GHG emissions from conventional production-based accounts (showing where emissions are released) to consumption-based accounts (showing the emissions ‘embodied’ in consumed goods and services) reveals how national roles shift when the responsibility for emissions is taken from producers and given to end-consumers, suggesting the need for policies aimed at tackling final consumption needs and wants and driving emissions reductions from the supply chains that serve them. However, the intermediate consumption activity of industries and individual enterprises also play a role in driving upstream emissions and provide an alternative leverage-point for consumption-oriented policy intervention. Building on the current momentum for voluntary corporate reporting and management of supply chain emissions, the work presented is concerned with assessing the potential influence of collective corporate action (at the scale of regions, industries and groups of enterprises) to reduce global supply chain emissions. Specifically, the presentation will cover three areas of research: (a) a system for mapping the accumulation of emissions along supply chains; (b) an analysis into the potential influence of EU industry over non-EU supply chain emissions; and, (c) a method for measuring the potential influence of groups of interdependent enterprises over their collective supply chain emissions that explicitly tackles double-counting issues.

Andrew holds a Masters in Engineering from Durham University and began his career in product design before completing an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis on the structural nature of global supply chain emissions through 4CMR.

This talk is part of the Manufacturing Research Forum series.

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