Research commissioned by iPoint has shed light on the approaches and attitudes to Supply Chain Sustainability in both Retail and FMCG. The survey questioned 250 Supply Chain decision-makers across the USA and the UK and found that while 77% consider Supply Chain sustainability a priority, 92 per cent of organisations are falling behind on their commitment due to perceived time and effort.
The number one goal: cost saving
The research looked at supply chain sustainability drivers and unsurprisingly found that cost saving is the number one goal amongst managers when creating a sustainable supply chain with 41 per cent citing it. This was well above 31 per cent looking to reduce environmental impact. In the USA, managers are much more concerned about protecting against reputational damage, with 40 per cent more managers citing it as a sustainability goal in the USA compared to the UK.
Proofing the business case for supply chain sustainability is still difficult
Among the reasons given for barriers to implementing a sustainable strategy, 44 per cent say it’s because of the time and effort required, and 43 per cent say it’s difficult to prove the business case. Firms realize that sustainability is important but are finding it difficult or time-consuming to implement.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure
Despite increasing regulatory pressure and the acknowledgement that sustainability is a key priority, less than half of businesses have a formal measurement of the environmental impacts of their supply chain and track progress towards their sustainability goals.
Joerg Walden, CEO of the iPoint Group, emphasizes: “More than ever before, organizations are facing increased demands for insight into their social and environmental performance. CSR or Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) data is no longer just a compliance or financial issue, it has become a social issue where stakeholders, including the public, take an interest in an organization’s CSR or ESG reports. It’s clear from our research that enterprise understands this, but the evidence points to the fact that there is a long way to go before the benefits of sustainability are realized through proper measurement.”
Data is the key to turn sustainability into a business advantage
We live in an era where data can deliver easily trackable progress and actionable insights for decisions and improvements in real time. EHS and sustainability need solid reporting to make a measurable difference and to prove the business case. More than this, EHS and sustainability can rise above organizational boundaries by providing complete transparency into organizational and supply chain relationships through automation, turning sustainability into a business advantage and easily proving the business case.
Next week we will be tackling more findings from the survey and delving deeper into the issue of Sustainability in the Supply Chain.