Sustainable supply chains: a people first approach

Sustainable supply chains: a people first approach

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prioritize people
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Embed ethical and sustainable supply chains into your organization

Supply chain sustainability and current ethical challenges

Building a sustainable and ethical workforce worldwide by adopting a people-first approach to supply chain management has clear benefits for organizations:

  • Investors are confident they are supporting ethical business practices
  • Regulators are satisfied that sustainable practices and standards are being adhered to
  • Customer demands for socially responsible consumer goods are being met.

The number of organizations relying on complex and sophisticated supply chains is growing rapidly. This growth has highlighted vulnerabilities, particularly in human rights, modern slavery and health and safety.

The risk landscape is evolving alongside the definition of quality, which now encompasses non-physical attributes such as environmental, social and ethical impacts, as well as integrity, security and organizational behaviour.

BSI’s most recent Supply Chain Risk Insights Report found numerous risks to supply chain stability, and COVID-19 put supply chains in the spotlight like never before. With seemingly insurmountable challenges to deadlines and delivery, many organizations were tempted to cut corners to meet demand – and the human links in these chains often found themselves paying a price.

Post-pandemic, a survey of supply chain and procurement practitioners found that 80% believe stronger legislation is needed in relation to the Modern Slavery Act’s corporate reporting requirement to prevent such bad practice from recurring.

This white paper offers an overview, case studies from industry leaders, and a roadmap to help decision-makers take their global supply chain practices from compliance to best practice.

5 key market drivers for putting people first

  • Consumer demand - the younger generations' purchasing decisions are motivated by sustainable values such as protecting the environment, promoting ethical behaviours, and ensuring decent working conditions for all workers.
  • Risk mitigation - supply chain disruptions have a significant impact on company business and financial performance. Building a sustainable supply chain increases resilience and improves quality control.
  • Increased profit - working more closely with suppliers and inventory, as well as shipping and transport costs, helps reduce overheads and optimize cash flow. Better collaboration with suppliers also helps to offer new opportunities including access to capital markets.
  • Competitive advantage - putting sustainability goals at the heart of your commercial strategy, backing innovation and collaborating with suppliers, all help ensure a leadership position in a competitive landscape.
  • Equality, inclusivity and responsibility - complex supply chains amplify business impacts on both people and the planet. By supporting a healthy and sustainable workforce, and making a stand against corruption and environmental impact, you will add value to your business.

Learn how to map out and define your supply chain goals

Most organizations are outcome-driven, so it is important to set clear aims for people to follow that align with your vision, values and mission statement. In this white paper, you will find a series of factors that should be taken into consideration.

  • Know your suppliers - get to know your suppliers like the back of your hand.
  • Understand behaviour risk - define what sustainability performance areas should be prioritized and monitored.
  • Monitor and measure - work with your suppliers to set KPIs and a monitoring programme.
  • The CEO stress test - how to determine if your organization is getting it right.