How does supply chain sustainability deliver enduring resilience?

The central goal of supply chain sustainability is to create, protect and grow long-term environmental, social and economic value for all stakeholders involved in bringing products and services to market.

Organizations successfully managing their supply chains will already be aware of global trends – whether environmental, social or economic – that will influence the need to re-shape and re-engineer the value chains that bring goods to market.

As growing demand for water, food, energy, land and minerals further challenges resource availability and the need for environmental regeneration, operators will need to be increasingly innovative, supportive of the circular economy and adaptive to climate change.

Consumers – particularly those from younger generations – are increasingly motivated to focus their purchasing decisions on businesses that uphold sustainable values. As these people further influence the mainstream, it will place increasing requirements on organizations to protect environment, promote ethical behaviours, and ensure decent, safe and secure working environments for all workers.

Sustainability is increasingly seen as key to minimising risk, including economic impacts. It also increases resilience, enhances competitiveness and unlocks new opportunities, including access to capital markets. Organizations are putting sustainability at the heart of their commercial strategy, backing innovation and collaborating with suppliers to drive profitable growth and ensuring their leadership position in the competitive landscape. These organizations embrace the market transformations that sustainability is driving, delivering opportunities for new business models, partnerships and transparency.

Supply chains continue to be one of the most important levers for organizations to create positive global impacts. Since the year 2000, the value of intermediate goods traded globally has tripled to more than $10 trillion annually. With an estimated 80% of global trade passing through supply chains, international value chain networks offer organizations and their partners myriad opportunities to provide decent work, improve workforce well-being, environmental impact and ethical practices.

Transparent, ethical, stable supply chains are a driving force in achieving organizational resilience through sustainability. Supply chain sustainability and brand integrity are inextricably interwoven in an era where ethics, transparency and corporate responsibility are increasingly under consumer, media and stakeholder scrutiny.

Organizations that drive sustainability through the supply chain are adept at managing their environmental, social and economic impacts and encourage best governance practices, throughout the lifecycles of goods and services. They anticipate and adapt to both long-term incremental change and short-term, sudden disruption to thrive in a dynamic, interconnected world. Achieving organizational resilience through supply chain sustainability requires continuous improvement in people, products and processes.

BSI is your trusted partner, collaborating with organizations to build capacity, competence, strength and reliability across the supply chain. We can equip you to embrace opportunities, drive efficiency, and face the future with confidence. By working together in a collaborative way, stakeholders in global supply chains and networks can advance sustainability via a healthy and sustainable workforce, climate resilience, environmental protection, inclusive economic growth and ethical business practices.

Recent worldwide disruption has reinforced the need for a rethink of production and supply chains. Unpredictable change marked out 2020 as exceptional in recent human experience. A global pandemic raged for most of the year while fire, floods and storms strafed a warming world.

Trust in capabilities and values across the supply chain was tested in 2020, although organizations have – for the most part – not compromised on their environmental, social and governance goals and continue to focus more on removing risks from their supply chains rather than cutting costs.

Transparency and collaboration are proving key as organizations are not only valued or trusted solely on the quality of their products and services, and financial performance. Trust can be built, provided there is clarity about how businesses’ operations are impacted by sustainability issues and how their operations impact stakeholders. Transparency enables collaboration, which is required to create the system-wide changes needed to address supply chain sustainability and organizational resilience.

As part of this collaboration, for example, businesses will need to build a value-chain emissions baseline and exchange data with suppliers. To ensure progress, ambitious targets will need to be set and progress against them reported. Products and sourcing strategies will need to be redesigned and emissions metrics integrated into procurement standards – at both the company and supplier ends of the value chain.

Transparent, ethical, stable supply chains are a driving force in achieving organizational resilience through sustainability. Complex supply chains amplify business impacts on people and planet at the same time as offering opportunities to embrace social and environmental benefits, foster collaboration, improve inclusiveness and elevate responsible sourcing.

Supply chain sustainability ensures businesses maintain their leadership position and ‘social licence’ to grow. Shaping organizations’ leadership position through supply chain sustainability is not only about enhancing operational effectiveness, more importantly, it’s about transformation of the market and adoption of innovative new business models that embrace partnership and transparency and respond to resource scarcity. Businesses will need to engage in sector initiatives to achieve best practices, certification, traceability and policy advocacy.

Sustainability is increasingly perceived as key to minimising risk, increasing resilience, enhancing competitiveness and unlocking new opportunities. Organizations are integrating sustainability into the heart of their business strategy, embedding innovation and collaboration with their suppliers to drive profitable growth and shape their leadership position in the competitive landscape.

Best practice in this arena helps them enhance operational effectiveness and minimize business disruption from environmental, social and economic impacts. Productivity is protected via reduced cost of material inputs, energy and transportation, while labour productivity and efficiency are enhanced. Companies will need to scale up, joining together in buying groups to amplify demand-side commitments. Ensuring best practice also offers an opportunity for proactive risk management, meeting existing and emerging legal and reporting requirements.

BSI’s thought-leadership position – learning the lessons of yesterday, understanding their meaning today and using the knowledge gained to identify and solve the issues of tomorrow – delivers trust, reassurance and innovation in an ever-changing world

Our powerful suite of solutions can help build strategic advantage, identify emerging challenges, deliver operational efficiencies and ensure sustainable business continuity.

BSI’s expertise and insight can help your organization anticipate and navigate global shifts in strategy, supporting companies as they embrace market transformation through new business models, partnerships and enhanced transparency. We can inform your vision for low-carbon governance, help align internal incentives, support sustainable sourcing, development and manufacturing.

Our solutions include risk mapping of supply chains, streamlining them and improving transparency. We can help you understand the impact of your entire supply chain and support you to make a positive impact on workforces, communities and the environment.

Against the backdrop of these essential performance measures, BSI has a comprehensive series of intelligence tools, standards, guides, training, consultancy, inspection, auditing and certification solutions that represent the most extensive in the market. Our offer is built on the very best industry knowledge to support improvement on your supply chain sustainability maturity journey.