The CO2 Performance Ladder is a Dutch tool used to drive down supply chain emissions. It could generate significant emissions savings amongst suppliers – even greater than the corporate emissions of the local governments that buy from them. The CO2 Performance Ladder is in widespread use by governments in the Netherlands and has contributed to a saving of 3.2% of carbon emissions amongst participating companies.
When suppliers are tendering for government business, the tool compels them to show how much they have been able to reduce emissions in their own operations. Suppliers are independently audited annually and receive a certificate marking their progress. There are five levels of certification, or ‘rungs’ on the ladder. When going for a tender, the supplier that has achieved stronger emissions reductions is more likely to win the tender.
The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) has investigated the potential of the tool in the Australian market with a feasibility study conducted by Arup. The study demonstrated the potential for large emissions reductions. NAGA is now leading a submission for funding from the Victorian state government to develop a business case and test the implementation of the CO2 Performance Ladder.