C.H Robinson: Calculating carbon emissions for sustainable supply chains




2020 - present


ESG executives and leaders


Supply chains present an increasingly complex and multi-faceted challenge in the climate crisis and the growing importance of evaluating ones’ emissions output is competing against this difficulty.


C.H. Robinson’s recent efforts to create more sustainable supply chains include the introduction of Emissions IQ, a free online tool to help customers track their supply chain emissions and carbon footprint across all forms of transportation globally. Emissions IQ offers the largest set of emissions benchmarking data in the industry. The self-serve tool automatically calculates emissions across all modes—a huge challenge—with the accredited Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) framework and provides easy visualization of a shipper’s carbon output, showing how to reduce tons of carbon emissions. C.H. Robinson has proven to be a leader in circularity as their expert global consultants are creating pathways and accessible platforms for customers to reduce their own emissions outputs.

In the pilot phase of the Emissions IQ platform, 125 companies reduced carbon emissions by a total of 350,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents. Now, any shipment through C.H. Robinson will automatically get an emissions score, measuring and helping companies reduce metric tons of CO2e annually across their supply chain. Customers can track their emissions and achieve their sustainability goals, giving customers the agency to eliminate supply chain waste without relying on costly programs. With C.H. Robinson’s nearly 200,000 customers and carriers, the projected emission reductions and financial savings will grow on an annual basis.

C.H. Robinson’s efforts to improve circularity across global forms of transportation demonstrate the impact one company can have on reducing global carbon emissions. The Emissions IQ tool is eliminating common barriers for customer engagement in supply chain sustainability. The tool was introduced to customers in early 2021 and over 350,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to 39 million gallons of gasoline, were reduced in the first six months.

Lessons Learned

  • Creating more access for customers via free online tools and data sharing opportunities enhances customers’ capabilities to reach sustainability goals and increases program equity.
  • Any size business and minority-owned businesses can gain visibility through the Emissions IQ platform.
  • Building trust via strategic collaborations increases customer engagement and program success.
  • Supporting, funding, and nurturing employee-led passion projects can drive value while also creating new pathways for change.
  • Solving the world’s most critical issues are business imperatives – sustainability impacts the security of the markets, resources and stakeholders that support the global economy.


C.H. Robinson put together a team of expert global sustainability professionals and partnered with the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) to get their methodology accredited. The GLEC Framework is the only globally recognized methodology for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas footprints across the multi-modal supply chain. C.H. Robinson was then able to take what started as a passion-fueled, employee-led venture and create a trustworthy public-facing project.

C.H Robinson: Calculating carbon emissions for sustainable supply chains

Member Highlight: C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson solves logistics problems for companies across the globe and across industries, from the simple to the most complex. With $21 billion in freight under management and 19 million shipments annually, we are one of the world’s largest logistics platforms. Our global suite of services accelerates trade to seamlessly deliver the products and goods that drive the world’s economy. With the combination of our multimodal transportation management system and expertise, we use our information advantage to deliver smarter solutions for our 105,000 customers and 73,000 contract carriers. Our technology is built by and for supply chain experts to bring faster, more meaningful improvements to our customers’ businesses. As a responsible global citizen, we are also proud to contribute millions of dollars to support causes that matter to our company, our Foundation and our employees. (Nasdaq: CHRW).

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