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Global supply chains hotspots of a wind energy company

Lundie, Sven, Wiedmann, Thomas, Welzel, Melanie, Busch, Timo
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.210 pp. 1042-1050
analytical methods, business enterprises, carbon, case studies, concrete, electricity, energy, energy industry, environmental sustainability, greenhouse gases, models, supply chain, wind power
Companies increasingly need detailed information on global impacts related to their products and services. This article describes a quantitative analytical approach that supports a better understanding of value-chain wide corporate sustainability performance. We use an extended multi-regional input-output model to analyse the global supply chains of products and projects for selected impact indicators (energy, greenhouse gases and water) by supply chain tier, industry sector and country. As a case study, we conduct a hotspot analysis of four sample projects from a single company in the wind energy sector.Calculated energy payback times vary between 8.1 and 12.5 months, and greenhouse gas intensities vary between 11.7 and 18.3 g CO2-e/kWh across the four projects. Impacts in the country of installation and production are mainly caused by the electricity, metal and concrete sectors. The supply chain dominates the overall impacts, with supplier tiers 2 to 4 causing the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions.The results allow management to better prioritize actions to manage and alleviate global impacts more effectively. In the future, the company that participated as our case study will base its carbon reduction strategy on the applied approach described in this paper.