Carbon Trust- 25% of carbon traded across borders

Businesses would like to improve their environmental impact of their supply chains, after new studies have found a quarter of global man-made carbon emissions flow between borders as a result of their being embodied in goods and services.

At Wiles Greenworld, London based green office Supplies Company, one the Sustainable Development Directors aims is to keep the impact of their supply chain low. Reducing the environmental impact of the supply chain, operations and that of customers, has resulted in amongst other recognition, Boris Johnson presenting the office supplies company with two top Awards at The Mayor of London’s Green Awards Ceremony.

Analysis from the Carbon Trust examines carbon flows between countries from areas including the power sector, industry and land use change. 25% of all CO2 emissions from human activities are imported or exported from one country to another. Developed countries are net importers of emissions, whilst developing countries are net exporter of emissions embodied in manufactured goods that they then export. The report predicts that by 2025 the UK could import as much carbon as it produces at home.

In 1992 the UK imported additional 7% of emissions embodied in trade, which saw a growth to 34% by 2004. Report predicts that net UK imports of emissions could potentially grow to 73% to 96% of production emissions by 2025; however this depends on carbon intensity of production in other countries and reductions in UK emissions.

Around 38% of embodied emissions created out the UK, but intended for consumption within the UK come from electricity. This highlights the need for decarbonisation within the power sector and The Carbon Trust said the study also highlighted the need for businesses to reduce supply chain carbon emissions.

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