PACT Insights

Getting started on your journey – how to best engage your suppliers


Engaging suppliers to source accurate and primary data for product carbon footprint transparency is a critical yet challenging task. Here’s a detailed guide to help you get started on this journey.

Secure Internal Buy-In:

  • Executive Support: Gaining commitment from the C-suite and senior leadership is crucial. This ensures that the decarbonization initiatives are prioritized at the highest levels of the organization.
  • Cross-Functional Alignment: Engage key departments such as procurement, finance, operations, and legal. This alignment ensures that all relevant teams understand the goals and strategies, facilitating smoother implementation.

Segment Your Suppliers:

  • Strategic Suppliers: These suppliers are often responsible for high emissions and have a high level of climate maturity. Engaging them involves detailed collaborations to develop and implement decarbonization strategies.
  • High-Impact Suppliers: These suppliers contribute significantly to emissions but may lack climate maturity. Focus on building their capacity through training and support.
  • Transactional Suppliers: These suppliers have lower emissions. Engagement efforts should focus on broad communication strategies to raise awareness and gather necessary data.

Engage Suppliers Effectively:

  • Strategic Engagement: For strategic suppliers, develop close partnerships. Co-develop decarbonization plans and share best practices to drive mutual progress.
  • Training and Support: Provide high-impact suppliers with resources, training, and incentives to help them build their capabilities and reduce emissions.
  • Broad Communication: For transactional suppliers, use comprehensive communication channels to disseminate information and collect data efficiently.

Support the Decarbonization Journey:

  • Roadmaps and Targets: Work with suppliers to set clear, actionable emissions reduction targets and create detailed roadmaps for achieving these goals.
  • Incentives and Resources: Offer financial incentives and educational resources to support suppliers in their decarbonization efforts. This could include grants, subsidies, or access to expertise and technology.

Best Practices:

  • Pilot Programs: Start with a small group of key suppliers to test and refine your approach. Learn from these initial efforts before scaling up.
  • Regular Communication: Maintain consistent and open lines of communication with your suppliers. Regular updates, feedback sessions, and progress reports help keep everyone aligned and motivated.
  • Data Transparency: Ensure that the data collected is used constructively. Provide feedback to suppliers and use the data for self-assessment rather than direct comparisons.


Engaging suppliers effectively is fundamental to achieving product carbon footprint transparency. By securing internal support, appropriately segmenting suppliers, engaging them with tailored strategies, and providing continuous support, companies can overcome challenges and make significant strides in sustainability.

For further guidance and detailed action plans, visit the Climate Drive’s Action Library.

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