What will sustainable supply chains look like in the future?

14 October 2013
What might supply chains look like in 10, 20 or 50 years’ time? What will the sustainability risks and opportunities be? How will supply chains need to evolve? Mapping the future is always a challenge, but as we look ahead it’s clear sustainability mega-trends are coming our way. Rising demand for food, energy, living space and water; and the challenge of dealing with climate change will continue to have a profound impact on the global economy and the vast network of supply chains that are part of it. Business will need to look at these issues, understand the impact that they will have on their operations, and then focus on what they will do to mitigate these impacts. In the sixth and final film in Sedex’s responsible sourcing insights series, supply chain experts share their visions of what the future might hold for responsible supply chain management. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQHEATQ4Yc4 In looking ahead, Peter McAllister, executive director at the Ethical Trading Initiative highlights the cross-cutting nature of sustainability issues. "If you stand back you realise there are issues across a sector, or across a region, or possibly across a whole range of similar goods," he says. David Lawrence, global compliance and ethics programme director at Diageo outlines the advantages in moving beyond compliance. “The next competitive advantage for a particular sector or a particular company will be how far beyond compliance they can take their particular supply chains”. Louise Nicholls, head of responsible sourcing and Plan A at Marks & Spencer Foods comments: "I’d love more businesses to have that eureka moment where they realise this isn’t just something they do once a year when the auditor comes round, but they absolutely get that this has a real business benefit for them and is something to adopt 365 days a year.” For any business wanting to survive the next 10, 20 or 50 years, managing sustainability risks, especially within supply chains, may make the difference between survival or not. Other films in Sedex’s Responsible Sourcing Insights films series include: Mark Robertson is head of communications at Sedex
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