Large companies launch vetoes to providers that are not ‘net zero’


In view of reinforcing their commitment to sustainability and dealing with the worrying impact of global warming, companies direct their policies to accelerate climate transformation. One of the pillars that supports this energy transition is to achieve emission reduction of greenhouse gases and the new strategic plan launched by Carrefour is governed in this line, which, among other decisions, aims to source only from ‘net zero’ suppliers in a very close time.

In this way, the French company thus joins an increasingly extensive list of large companies that are pressuring their suppliers to align themselves with the bases dictated in the Paris Agreement under threat of losing contracts. Thus, the group has reported that will expel its 100 largest suppliers if they do not adjust their business to reduce the impact on the climate to a 1.5 degree Celsius heating by 2026. Another of the directions that are framed in its roadmap is that of reaching the carbon neutrality in 2040 (in 2030 for e-commerce business).

In terms of energy, Carrefour has the objective for 2026 to carry out the installation of 4.5 million square meters of solar panels in the car parks of its hypermarkets in France, Spain Y Brazilwith what you expect to produce 1 TWh per year of solar energy. According to company estimates, this energy generation plan will contribute to reducing Carrefour’s energy consumption by 20% throughout the world, within a period of five years, which in the case of France it plans to reduce by two.

Small businesses at risk

Sustainability policies such as the one proposed by Carrefour can be viewed from various perspectives. On the one hand, they positively affect sustainability, since the number of companies involved is increased in the fight against climate change in a drag effect on those that are smaller in size. However, the consequences could be not so favorable from the point of view of small and medium-sized companies, which have a more limited adaptability than the big ones to face this transformation in a context of unprecedented climate, geopolitical and macroeconomic crisis.

For Spain, where the weight of small and medium-sized companies is especially significant in the economic fabric, the increase in environmental requirements for suppliers can be a significant burden and leave many outside the circle. For now, large companies are focusing on working with them to measure their carbon footprint and take steps to correct it. But in sectors such as supermarkets, and especially those that use small producers, the challenge is high. In his favor, however, that the proximity product is considered less emitting because it saves emissions in transport.

Activism, very focused on supermarkets

The supermarket sector is one of those that is marked by activism from more vertices: the environmental one or also the health one and the step taken by Carrefour It could be contextualized in an environment in which investors are increasingly demanding of large distribution companies and also of their product range. In addition to the environmental impact, in the UK there is also campaigns have been moved against Tesco in favor of healthy eating. And the meat industry has been involved in campaigns because livestock farms are associated with large methane emissions. McDonald’sfor example, has been in the eye of this type of movement precisely because of the emissions derived from the farms of its beef suppliers.


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