Delve podcast: New Normal: Climate Change and the Supply Chain with Sanjith Gopalakrishnan

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Published: 2Dec2021

Carbon emissions from a typical company’s supply chain are on average 5.5 times that of direct emissions, including from facilities and company vehicles. In certain sectors such as retail and food & beverage, that ratio goes up to 10 or 20 times. Reducing the environmental impact of supply chain emissions depends on both public pressure and government regulation.

In episode 3 of the second season of Delve’s The "New Normal" podcast series, Professor Sanjith Gopalakrishnan from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University joins journalist Dave Kaufman to discuss the major impact that supply chain management has on climate change, how to mitigate the environmental impact caused by supply chain greenhouse gas emissions, and whether progress made in the rationalization of greenhouse gases will allow for the Paris Accord targets to be achieved.

“Many companies tout their goals to be carbon neutral by 2030 or 2040, but often these goals do not include emissions from their supply chains. Reducing emissions from your own operations is certainly a good start,” Gopalakrishnan argues. “But given that supply chain emissions are six to 20 times direct emissions, if companies want to seriously consider their carbon footprint and make a meaningful change, the holy grail of sustainable operations is in reducing your scope three, that is, your supply chain.”

For more insights, listen to the full interview with Professor Sanjith Gopalakrishnan on the Delve podcast and read Gopalakrishnan’s research paper Incentives and Emission Responsibility Allocation in Supply Chains.

You can subscribe to the Delve podcast on all major podcast platforms, including Apple podcasts and Spotify.


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Founded in 2019, Delve is the official thought leadership publication of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Under the direction of Professor Saku Mantere, inaugural Editor-in-Chief, Delve features the latest in management thinking that stretches perspectives, sparks new ideas, and brings clarity to decision-makers at all levels and across sectors.

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