New report: Driving sustainability impact through supply chain action
The UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA) and EY Australia have just launched a new publication about supply chain sustainability for businesses. The report aims to raise awareness and help businesses drive sustainability through positive actions along their supply chain.
What is a supply chain, and why does it matter?
A supply chain is a network (or chain) of companies, people and processes involved in producing and providing a product or service. It starts with sourcing raw materials or resources and continues through production, delivery, sale, usage and support. A circular business model or cyclical supply chain takes this further, considering the end-of-life of the product or service and looking at how resources can be reused or upcycled via circular economy activity.
Any decisions an organisation makes – such as where they source materials and purchase goods or how they deliver their services – will reverberate up and down their supply chain. This means a business has the power to drive sustainability along its supply chain. It also means business owners have to be aware of the environmental, societal and human rights impact of others in their supply chain as well as within their own organisation.
“The interconnected, global nature of supply chains can create efficiencies for businesses, but it has also led to negative environmental and social outcomes. The lack of transparency in value chains exacerbates this challenge, with many businesses unwittingly participating in activities that create an opportunity for modern slavery to persist and contribute to biodiversity damage or loss, among other issues.” (Alexandra Banks, EY Australia)
How can businesses build more sustainable supply chains?
To drive sustainability along their supply chain, businesses can look for ways to increase positive impact and reduce negative impact. The report describes this as moving from risk management to value creation. To do this, the report discusses techniques such as stakeholder partnerships, increased visibility and transparency, and demonstrating leadership and accountability (such as avoiding greenwashing). For the full story, read the report.