Energy in the supply chain

An analysis tool that we've developed with UK and international partners is helping companies worldwide reduce their carbon emissions and costs.

The Global Low Carbon Sector is estimated to be worth £4 trillion, with the UK's worth £120 billion and employing one million people. Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is using support and expertise from the University of Sheffield to develop a city region with low carbon emissions and a sustainable future.

Professor Lenny Koh, of the University's Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), Logistics Supply Chain Management Research Centre (LSCM), and Management School, is a leading authority in the supply chain field. Her research and work on the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) has been used to shape supply chain strategy and policy for the city region.

SCEnAT, which aims to help companies cut their carbon emissions, is already being used by regional, national and international firms. The tool creates a database of carbon usage, arming businesses with ways to reduce their carbon emissions and associated costs, providing interventions, as well as offering guidance and support.

Professor Koh said: "SCEnAT has already helped businesses change their operations to reduce CO2 emissions, make cost savings of up to £250,000 and improve their business performance."

Sheffield Forgemasters believe that the tool has helped them to introduce initiatives that have contributed to a reduction in their CO2 emissions to 38% below the government's 1990 benchmark. Others to benefit are Suffolk based malt producers Muntons PLC who were named top manufacturing company in the 2011 Sunday Times Green Competition, a position they attribute to their work with SCEnAT.

Collaboration has been the key to this carbon cutting tool's success, with Professor Koh working in partnership with the Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF), The University of York, the University of Hull, the Stockholm Environmental Institute, CEES, the LSCM Research Centre, and the CLCF Low Carbon Supply Chain Business Advisory Board, to produce SCEnAT.

Speaking about the impact of the research, Nick Tovey, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP – Low Carbon Sector -, said: "We estimate that the total impact from this research and contribution to the supply chain growth and improvement, along with Professor Koh's extensive work on the skills agenda, could be worth many millions of pounds to the overall local and national economy."

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