amee: Big Data and Sustainable Supply Chains

amee strives to provide credible environmental data on every business in the world starting with the 2.8 million trading entities in the UK.

ameeOne of the greatest challenges for many businesses around the world is how to be more sustainable in their use of environmental resources while maintaining profitability.

This has led many of the largest companies to implement CSR programs and improve their own environmental track record. But this can only get them so far.

There is an increasing recognition that a company’s true environmental impact, not to mention its bottom line, is reliant on supplier performance. This is why sustainable supply chain management has become so critical.

The problem that most supply chain owners face, however, is that there is a lack of credible environmental data on companies’ environmental performance.

Walmart, for example, has tried to gather such data from its suppliers since 2012, but has had mixed results. Some companies spend huge sums on consultancy fees to gain just a minimal understanding of their suppliers while others have no idea at all.

How does amee fit?

amee’s mission is to provide credible environmental data on every business and organization in the world – starting with the 2.8 million trading entities in the UK.

Our hope is that open access to this data will not only enable smarter procurement decisions from supply chain owners, but will also help smaller companies drive efficiency improvements themselves.

In 2012 we gathered all the publicly available data points on carbon emissions, for example from the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Carbon Reduction Commitment, and individual company reports.

We then partnered with data companies, like Experian and Dun & Bradstreet, as well as Companies House UK to obtain key business data, including annual revenue, number of employees and location. We also worked with UK utility companies to gather utility spend data, such as gas and electricity, for over 250,000 companies.

From this data we were able to develop an advanced statistical model to accurately estimate any organization carbon footprint where publicly reported data is either missing and/or incomplete.

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This makes amee the only company to provide complete coverage of environmental data in the UK.

How does amee work?

Every business and organization has been given a unique profile with details of their environmental performance. Companies are also given an ameeScore, a unique number from 1-100 (100 being the best) which indicates an organization environmental efficiency compared to its industry peers.

Details on how the ameeScore is calculated can be found here.

Companies are then encouraged to update their profiles with actual data. By doing this they demonstrate their commitment to transparency and sustainability – attributes which are increasingly valued by large supply chain owners. They can also compare their performance with similar organizations and form partnerships to drive their own efficiency improvements.

Large organizations can use amee’s online platform as an intermediary to engage suppliers and show a clear commitment to lower carbon, sustainable procurement.

They can also see which of their suppliers are most exposed to environmental risk, for instance those which are particularly energy inefficient and whose services and products could therefore become more expensive due to volatile energy prices.

What is amee’s potential?

Transparency is at the heart of amee, which is why anyone can access the data via amee.com

amee’s commitment to free and transparent environmental data allows greater insight into the supply chain. This has great potential to disrupt conventional business models and revolutionize Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) across the globe.

With the vast majority of our online infrastructure already in place amee can be expanded at scale and we are already exploring possibilities in the US market.

A screenshot of a company profile from amee.com.

Tim Murphy is Chief Executive Officer at amee, which is based at Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout” in London, United Kingdom. He was previously President of Dun & Bradstreet North America and has also held management and Board roles at Alphyra, ICAP, Payzone and BPS. He graduated from Colgate University and holds an MBA from New York University.