Assess carbon sequestration potential of suppliers

For a food manufacturer, we assessed various suppliers in Europe and North Africa in 2021. The aim was to investigate the potential for carbon sequestration in the supply chain as an example and to draw conclusions for possible insetting projects of the food manufacturer.

The client company is interested overall in making its products more climate-friendly and is therefore looking for ways to work together with its own supply companies to achieve greater sustainability.

Promoting sustainability in the supply chain means investing in the continued existence of suppliers as well as future-proofing one's own company.
Project structure

Due to the situation around Covid19, we were not able to make on-site visits to the farms for this project. We therefore relied on video conferencing and also provided the farms with digital questionnaires to help them collect data.

We looked at different raw materials that the food producer obtains from these suppliers. The cultivation and harvesting methods varied greatly in some cases and were taken into account accordingly in our evaluation. The evaluation was based on the carbon footprints of more than 20 raw materials in three farms.

Project results

In the course of the data evaluation, we looked at the greatest levers, potentials and possible approaches to avoidance and compensation of greenhouse gases. In this case, we found the greatest mitigation potential in the areas of agroforestry and drying of raw materials. However, these areas proved to be relatively uncertain and associated with major hurdles.

Other methods promised relatively easier implementation: soil carbon build-up, crop residue management, and fertiliser management. Although these methods have a lower retention potential overall, they pay greater dividends in terms of the sustainability of the supplier farms studied.

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