The supply chain is the process that allows to bring a product or service to the market, transferring it from the supplier to the customer.
It is therefore a complex process that involves several professional figures, activating numerous processes of the ecosystem-company: from the flow of raw materials linked to the production processes, up to the distribution logistics that delivers the purchased goods to the customer.
With globalization and the consequent multiplication of intermediaries, the safety, sustainability and defensibility of the supply chain have become as important as the quality of the products.
Increasing demands from the market have placed supply chain sustainability at the top of the priorities of businesses around the world. In fact, more and more chains have begun to measure and reduce the carbon footprint or to verify credentials in terms of procurement. Despite this, much remains to be done for sustainable supply chains to become a reality and stop being an exception.
Governments, regulatory authorities, trade associations and customers demand that the sector do more to reduce the environmental impact; furthermore, buyers are increasingly interested in sustainable energy and the functioning of their supply chains.
Therefore, how can companies address the problem and ensure sustainability throughout the entire supply chain?
Creating sustainable supply chains
Making relationships and supply chains more sustainable can often be a real challenge. Many companies associate sustainability with upheavals and significant and problematic changes, so they are reluctant to contact the companies they rely on.
In fact, if supply chain management, planning and communication are effective, small changes are enough to become more sustainable.
Knowing the main challenges companies face is a great starting point for making the process as smooth as possible.
Find the critical issues
Understanding the true environmental impact of a supply chain is not easy at all.
In fact, to determine how human and natural resources are used in the production stages, and to establish procurement processes, the supply chain must be transparent. Furthermore, a whole range of environmental, social and economic factors must also be included in the sustainability calculations.
In recent years, many models and measurement tools have appeared with which companies can identify and evaluate the impact of their activities.
Many buyers want to make their supply chains more sustainable, but don’t know how to help suppliers with that. Many opt for a more comprehensive approach that enables suppliers to operate more sustainably: for example, they create codes of conduct and concretely help suppliers design and implement their sustainability programs.
How can we help
First of all, it is necessary to determine the current situation in terms of sustainability within your supply chain. Once you have a clear idea of the situation, you can collaborate in the development of improvement projects for suppliers.
When implemented correctly, sustainability enables companies to make more informed decisions to reduce costs, improve productivity, sustain growth and adopt more long-term strategies.