Dawood Pervez: Collaboration is key
To achieve our ambitious Net Zero goals, FWD’s Chair Dawood Pervez urges wholesalers to name the suppliers leading the way and introduces a new sector ESG scorecard
The race to net zero is on with the UK wholesale sector taking on the challenge to cross the finish line by 2040, 10 years ahead of the government’s 2050 Net Zero goal.
We are already seeing quite significant movement being made at pace, with carbon reduction across borders and fleets changed at what appears to be the flick of a switch. While we know there is much more to it and the planning stages alone are taking a significant chunk of time and effort, it does appear that the sector has embraced efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
While wholesalers can play their part and make headway in reducing carbon emissions, making adjustments to tackle scope 1 (such as company vehicles) and scope 2 (use of electricity), the real challenge lies with scope 3 which is largely out of our control.
FWD’s flagship Roadmap to Net Zero reveals that scope 3 emissions make up around 96% of our total carbon footprint. This spans upstream emissions, including the production of ingredients, farming of fruit and vegetables, the rearing of animals, and manufacturing of products, to the downstream emissions in retail and services such as the storing, preparation and disposal of food. How can we possibly get a handle on this without collaboration?
Solutions lie in communication, accurate data and transparency. I urge wholesalers to identify the suppliers leading the way in terms of sustainability. This will encourage product innovation from them and bring the end goal of Net Zero within reach.
This is a common goal that requires time, resource and shared thinking. Sharing best practice across the supply chain will be paramount to securing a net zero food and drink supply chain in the UK.
FWD’s sustainability package provides wholesalers with a carbon calculator so members can keep track of how their carbon reduction strategies are materialising. And critically, keep them on the path to net zero. Using this resource is a no-brainer as businesses will be able to hold themselves to account by inputting relevant data periodically to manage progress.
Scope 3 will require out-of-the-box thinking. Wholesalers will need suppliers to provide clear messaging on products that have a reduced carbon footprint. Consumer trends will no doubt help to shape this as awareness grows around the relationship with carbon intensive food products and those which are not. Already we are seeing a change in habits with consumers stepping away from beef and seeking more sustainable alternatives.
To aid collaboration and transparency between wholesalers and suppliers, FWD is helping members by developing an ESG (environmental, social and governance) scorecard. Its main function will be to allow wholesalers to conduct supply chain due diligence with suppliers. Wholesalers are able to assess their supplier against their own ESG policy, ensuring they are trading with those suppliers which reflect their own values and sustainability goals. As part of that, if we work on making carbon emissions the priority and collaborate to ensure we have accurate data, we will be making great strides in tackling that 96% that appears to be out of a wholesaler’s reach.
All of us have the responsibility to push forward on this pressing issue now, in order to make a tangible difference and hit the net zero deadline.
For more on sustainability and to find out how your business can get involved, visit Wholesale News’s dedicated Green Wholesale Collective websiteDawood Pervez ESG FWD column net zero sustainability