For the past several years, GE has been working on how best to engage with our supply chain on greenhouse gases (GHG). Based on our long experience with the Supplier Responsibility Program, we know our supply chain is very responsive to our requests. However, what we’ve also learned is that, especially in developing countries, it is not enough merely to set an expectation. We achieve much better outcomes if we identify resources to educate the supply chain on how to execute and make available supporting tools.
For this reason, over the past three years GE and the GE Foundation have been supporting the work of the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to adapt the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol for China, to share our own experience with Treasure Hunts and to share best practices on how to reduce GHG emissions.
This collaboration had a major milestone on November 4, 2010, when ISC, WRI, the WBCSD and the China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) hosted a conference in Shanghai for 120 Chinese business leaders focused on “Achieving Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction at Industrial Facilities.” The conference was sponsored in part by GE, with speakers from ISC, WBCSD, WRI, Walmart and GE, plus three local companies—which had recently implemented energy-efficiency and GHG accounting activities. The conference also included sessions on energy-efficiency financing, the GHG Protocols and on ISC’s EHS Academies that provide energy-efficiency and GHG accounting training to industries and their supply chains in China. The work of these groups was also highlighted at the Supplier Summit held the following week.
In 2011, GE will be asking suppliers subject to on-site assessments under the Supplier Responsibility Program whether they are tracking their energy usage and if they have an energy reduction goal. This data will give us an opportunity to begin a more meaningful discussion with our suppliers on this important topic.