Industry Intro

Consumer goods

Consumer goods companies manufacture and process packaged food and beverages, convenience products for home and personal use, personal electronic devices, apparel, footwear and textiles.
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Role of the industry

Delivering the scale of carbon reduction needed for a net-zero world by 2050 demands companies to transform - by decarbonizing their value chain, and by helping the world to get to zero emissions. The consumer goods sector is large - over a trillion U.S. dollars - and its supply chain vast. Global production and use of consumer products contributes as much as 5 billion tonnes CO₂ each year. Consumer goods companies can lead the transition, supporting their supply chains and consumers to transform, and harnessing advancement in carbon actions.

Understanding your carbon footprint

In order to tackle climate change effectively, companies benefit from having a clear understanding of which parts of their business emit the most greenhouse gases. This is of importance to producers of consumer goods that are looking to manage emissions, whose biggest impacts often lie beyond their direct operations: in their supply chains and in the way consumers use their products.

For consumer goods companies, major impact areas across the supply chain come from sourcing of materials and goods. Downstream impacts from consumer use and disposal are also significant. While emissions from operations appear relatively small, they are still significant and provide an important starting point in any carbon action plan.

Companies can understand their total impact by conducting a GHG value chain assessment, supplementing available company data with modelled estimates. Cozero Log can help with this.

Managing your carbon footprint

Consumer products companies can reduce their carbon footprint by taking action inside their company operations; by working with industry and consumers to tackle emissions through the supply chain and their consumers use of products; and by supporting carbon removal and reduction projects across the world.

First and foremost, increasing the energy efficiency of manufacturing operations, switching away from fossil fuels, and reducing waste in production delivers carbon and cost reduction.

Tackling supply chain emissions means engaging with suppliers on joint abatement and circularity projects, and opting for sustainable sourcing options as well as optimizing distribution and storage.

Opting for production methods that allow for reduction and re-use by consumers include use recyclable or compostable packaging.

For a company's carbon footprint that is hard or not possible to address, companies can look to support projects that remove atmospheric CO₂, or reduce CO₂ from beyond their value chain.

Cozero Act recommends the carbon actions and solution providers to help companies focus on where action is needed most. Cozero Act supports companies to develop and manage bespoke carbon management action plans, as well as transparently track progress against these.


What did other companies do?

Danone provides a training program for farmers to improve costs and move to sustainable farming practices.

H&M and Maersk have jointly developed an initiative to enable low-carbon shipping through use of biofuels.