A top material issue
Supply chains are a major focus in environmental stewardship. Because major environmental impacts occur during this phase, sustainable supply chain efforts are a top material issue for businesses.
Uncovering the environmental impacts in the supply chain will allow a company to identify hotspots in order to focus resources on impact reduction projects.
Knowing the hotpots in your value chain will also guide risk mitigation efforts to ensure resilient supply, for example of crops in water-risk areas, scarce materials, bio-sourced materials, etc. It will also help communicate expectations to suppliers and set relevant supply chain and procurement policies.
LCA science – it’s in our DNA. And it is what fuels our metrics-based approach to delivering applicable sustainability solutions for strategy, measurement, tools and communications.
Adopt a life cycle approach
Sustainability reporting frameworks are now integrating supply chains, making this topic a requirement in CSR leadership; however, while more companies expand their sustainability programs to include supply chains in their scope, some struggle with assessment, implementation, and engagement.
Evaluating supply chain impacts is integral to the life cycle or footprinting approach, both from a product or corporate perspective.
Supply chains are an integral part of a product’s or an organization’s environmental performance.
Get actionable information
A company does not need to deploy massive data collection efforts or compile a complete inventory of suppliers to get meaningful and actionable information. Companies can take several initial steps to move toward sustainable supply chains:
- With our robust metrics and databases (WFLDB or WALDB, for example), and taking into account international frameworks such as the EUs Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative or the GHG Protocol, our experts can uncover the level of impacts in your supply chain, going beyond tier 1 and 2 to Scope 3 suppliers upstream.
- Develop datasets to model supply chains, with the needed granularity
- Build awareness, train and engage supply chain and procurement departments as well as suppliers on priority material issues. A useful tool for these workshops is our Life Cycle Perception Game.
- Provide support for answering supply chain questionnaires such as CDP supply Chain
- Set environmental sustainability goals that include your supply chains
- Assess and compare alternative materials, like bio-sourced packaging)
The business case for supply chain sustainability is clear: by managing and improving environmental sustainability throughout their supply chains, companies can significantly reduce impacts, limit resource consumption, reduce risks and save costs.