The UN define supply chain sustainability as (UN, 2015): “Supply chain sustainability is the management of environmental, social and economic impacts, and the encouragement of good governance practices, throughout the lifecycles of goods and services”.
The potential for businesses having a positive impact in the world is high, with 80% of global trading passing through supply chains. It is important to avoid nontransparent businesses entering the supply chain as they effectively hide slavery, corruption, and pollution. With the UN’s 10 global compact principles in mind, businesses can implement different measures in their routines to make a positive impact on the world.
Extending the UN Global compact’s ten principles into the supply chain can however be difficult because of the scare and complexity of many supply chains. Therefore, we have created a 5-step guide to gain an overview of how to improve the sustainability in supply chains.
The first step for a more sustainable supply chain is to gain an understanding of the sustainability impacts of your supply chain. It is important to gain an overview of the suppliers and their sustainable impact by identifying the environmental and social challenges they face and prioritizing different efforts with the suppliers.
Involving your suppliers in your sustainability efforts is a critical step to gain a more sustainable supply chain. Establishing and communicating expectations through a supplier code of conduct ensures that the supplier’s employees experience safe working conditions and respectable treatment.
Determining your starting point can be done by collecting data from suppliers through a questionnaire or self-assessment. Orixe’s sustainability self-assessment is a great approach to gain an overview evaluate the performance of your suppliers’ sustainable measures. An overall score for each company, and an average score will help you detain control over your supply chains sustainable performance.
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Transfer knowledge across the supply chain by leveraging practices and case studies through online training and capacity building campaigns. By selecting top performing suppliers and showcasing the success stories, your company recognizes their efforts, as well as demonstrating the practical benefits of sustainable initiatives to other suppliers.
Some aspects can be difficult to identify through self-assessments alone, therefore the next step is to implement an audit program that can measure performance over time. Orixe’s auditing module simplifies, enhances, and automates the process of auditing suppliers. Orixe Audit provides an overview of all the suppliers, and their status, so that you can avoid using non-approved suppliers.
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