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EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership

Building Internal Support in Supply Chain Management

Develop Allies in Business Units

A small team of an organization's environmental, health, and safety personnel are usually the champions for addressing both organization-wide and supply chain GHG emissions. It is therefore important to develop relationships with key managers and procurement personnel in each business unit so that they can become allies and support efforts to reach out to suppliers on managing their GHG emissions. Different value propositions for targeting supply chain GHG emissions will resonate with different departments or divisions within an organization. By demonstrating a direct connection between reducing emissions and achieving business unit performance goals, champions can build broad internal support for greening the supply chain.

Leverage One Business Unit to Drive Change Across the Organization

Since the magnitude of supply chain emissions can vary widely across business units, organizations may elect to focus first on departments or divisions that can have the greatest influence on overall supply chain emissions to pilot outreach to suppliers. Once successful results can be communicated across the organization, other business units can be brought on board. Multinational corporations can use their organizational complexity to their advantage where changes can often be more easily tested within certain business units or in certain lead markets before branching out across the entire company.

Secure Executive Support and Communicate Resource Needs

Executive support for managing supply chain GHG emissions and a clear understanding of the resource needs is critical for any initiative's success. Some organizations recognize the need for executives to appoint a senior-level manager dedicated to work full-time on sustainability issues, including addressing supply chain GHG emissions, especially when organizations have many suppliers and a large amount of data that must be evaluated. Over time, many organizations have been able to build a small team dedicated to helping the senior managers implement supplier outreach programs.

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