01 September 2008 | Jake Kanter
Pressure from consumers is forcing businesses to implement sustainability schemes in their supply chains, according to a report by consultancy Ernst & Young.
A survey of 275 business executives found customers were influencing the green supply chain strategy of 57 per cent of firms. This is due to consumers becoming more vocal about the impact of firms on climate change and companies wanting to back-up their claims to be sustainable.
Some 71 per cent of the respondents see responsible purchasing projects as an opportunity to improve their organisation's brand. In addition, 50 per cent said building a sustainable supply chain could achieve cost savings.
Of the schemes already introduced, the most common include efforts to improve labour standards within the supply chain, cited by 63 per cent of respondents. Some 58 per cent have introduced measures to reduce waste. Other improvements include energy efficiency (55 per cent of businesses), investing in renewable energy (40 per cent) and carbon offsetting (30 per cent).