Supply chain footprinting and E-ChainTM our sustainable supply chain integrated solution

Identify hotspots, reduce risk and ensure business continuity by building a complete picture of supply chain sustainability credentials through an end-to-end service offering supply chain ‘cradle-to-gate’ analysis.

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What is it?

Supply chain footprinting: A standalone service or phase one of a two-phased approach to map supply chain emissions and impacts using quantified and reportable Scope 3 data harnessing the joint power of Ecodesk and the world’s most comprehensive database for high accuracy supply chain ‘cradle-to-gate’ analysis - CEDA®. Identify hotspots based on an organisation’s own ledger and benchmarked against industry average data.

E-Chain™ (integrated sustainable supply chain solution): A comprehensive end-to-end solution enabling businesses to footprint supply chains on a range of environmental and social metrics. Identify potential hotspots in the supply chain through an initial screening of suppliers and/or products using the CEDA® database. This provides a supply chain sustainability picture based on industry average data that can be used to pre-populate Ecodesk supply chain dashboards.

Phase Two is a direct supplier engagement programme through our Enterprise, Premium Enterprise or Global Enterprise pricing models. This enables initial Phase One data to be verified by focussing on hotspots, key suppliers, verticals or geographical regions. This provides organisations with tailored in-depth supply chain analytics to help make more informed procurement decisions, reduce risk and ensure business continuity.

Who is it for?

Procurement: When combined with Ecodesk’s environmental and social mapping and supplier scorecard services, Supply Chain Footprinting can provide procurement teams with the ultimate view of which suppliers are more risky to buy from and which suppliers are more likely to offer good business continuity. Make more informed buying decisions through a greater understanding of your supply base.

Sustainability: An opportunity to prove the concept and value of supply chain sustainability by aligning procurement spend with industry averages, to help identify poor performers and therefore risky suppliers. No need for an initial supplier survey or questionnaire and no need to charge suppliers for the privilege of taking part.

Marketing: With a full picture of your supply chain’s sustainability you can use it to your advantage. This enables you to have complete sustainability vision, at least against industry average, providing marketing teams with a data resource to promote brand reputation and support vertically targeted campaigns.


Quantifying scope 3 emissions is traditionally the most time-consuming yet uncertain part of a carbon footprint or LCA project. In order to estimate scope 3 emissions, a list of inputs to an organisation that includes products, services, equipment and logistics needs to be compiled.

Ecodesk applies a two-phased approach:

Phase 1

we take an organisation’s general ledger, a reliable and complete source of information and map it to CEDA® to deliver an initial, complete supply chain screening. This approach significantly reduces the time and resources usually required to complete a scope 3 emissions footprint, whilst simultaneously improving the completeness and accuracy of the results.

Phase 2

Through supplier primary data collection and analysis through Ecodesk, we refine and enhance Phase 1 output (both quantitatively and qualitatively) over time. Data collection can be focussed on areas of particular concern or key vertical sectors depending on business requirement. Suppliers create profiles and data posted to Ecodesk automatically appears on a client supply chain dashboard. A suite of analysis tools and scorecards are available.

The Data

In addition to publicly available data sources such as Ecoinvent, Ecodesk utilises the CEDA® database for scope 3 emissions estimation. The CEDA® database is a peer-reviewed environmentally extended input-output LCA database designed to support an integrated hybrid approach to supply chain sustainability projects.

Unlike process-based databases, where part of the upstream processes are, at varying degrees, omitted from the system, CEDA® is based on economy-wide, national accounts. This means that it can provide analysis for all supply chain inputs, all the way through the supply chain - ‘cradle-to-gate’.

CEDA® has provided robust scope 3 emission data for numerous industries, governments and international organisations including First Group plc, Travis Perkins plc, Coca-Cola Enterprises, RBS, ExxonMobil Corp., European Commission, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

Here's what our clients are saying

We have chosen Ecodesk because it provides a simple and cost effective way to report our data and track that of our suppliers and customers. The supply chain dashboard is a great tool, which will help us make informed procurement decisions.

Neil Baldwin, Operations Development Manager, Acorn Waste Management

GSK has chosen to report its carbon, water and waste emissions openly via Ecodesk and we are asking our suppliers to do the same. GSK’s ambition to improve its supplier sustainability will see it preference suppliers willing to come on that journey.

Matt Wilson, Supply Chain Sustainability Leader, GlaxoSmithKline

Our procurement and sustainable development teams will be working with Ecodesk to ensure that suppliers are taking their environmental metrics seriously, utilising them as an opportunity to create cost savings and operational efficiencies.

Katy Mills, Group Head of Procurement at Places for People

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Client spotlight

GSK – embedding sustainability into the business with Ecodesk

GSK is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, developing and supplying medicines to a global market. The company employs more than 97,000 people in over 100 countries and has an extensive worldwide supply chain. One third of GSK’s carbon impact comes from raw materials.


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