Supply Chain Community of Practice
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and GSA launched the GreenGov Supply Chain Partnership Program in November 2010 to incentivize federal suppliers to complete Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventories. Federal agencies are required to complete yearly GHG emissions inventories. Although the inclusion of vendor GHG emissions (part of Scope 3 emissions) is currently voluntary, agencies are interested in knowing how much of their GHG emissions are embedded in their supply chain as a result of their suppliers.
In early 2011, CEQ held listening sessions with federal suppliers around the country to learn about the benefits and challenges associated with completing a GHG emissions inventory. The federal suppliers, (particularly the top 100 based on government spend), were already completing Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions inventories for their own operations. They were also starting to engage their suppliers in GHG inventory completion for cost savings, and to increase competitiveness in international markets. In addition to GHG emissions, these suppliers were also tracking and reducing additional relevant environmental impacts within their operations and supply chain.
This feedback led GSA to rethink the program, and revise the initiative. GSA proposed the launch of the Sustainable Supply Chain Community of Practice. The focus is on sharing information between government, industry, non-profits and academic institutions on best practices in leveraging supplier relationships to reduce environmental impacts and other inefficiencies, and reduce risk factors throughout supply chains.
The Sustainable Supply Chain, is a content community on data.gov, which is an engagement platform and data sharing repository already used by many stakeholders. The Sustainable Supply Chain community is comprised of seven market sector groups. The community allows organizations who are actively working to increase the sustainability of their supply chain, to share the engagement strategies and training they are using with their suppliers. The training is especially helpful to small businesses in gaining access to specific tools, checklists, process improvements and other educational material. This increases their operational efficiency, and their attractiveness as a "sustainable" supplier/small business partner in their specific market sector.
Success of the community depends upon leadership by industry, associations, non-profits, and academic institutions; members sharing in their corporate social responsibility reports, supplier engagement and training, supplier codes of conduct, and other relevant sustainable supply chain best practices. The value of a sustainable supply chain is clear, and many organizations have the tools, lessons learned, and practical guidance on how to achieve one. The Supply Chain Community of Practice seeks to make this existing data broadly available so all participants benefit.