Customers and savings driving sustainability

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
15 November 2018

Customer pressure and cost savings are equally driving the sustainability agenda at firms, according to a survey.

A poll of 250 consumer goods supply chain decision-makers in the UK and US found consumer demand was the most common driver, cited by 52%, but 51% of respondents looked to sustainable supply chains to cut costs.

More than two fifths of respondents (41%) said cost saving was the primary goal when creating a sustainable supply chain, compared to 31% who cited reducing environmental impact.

In the US managers were more concerned with protecting against reputational damage, with 40% more decision-makers citing it as a sustainability goal compared to the UK. Regulation was cited by 40% of respondents.

The survey, by software and consulting firm iPoint BiS, found more than three quarters of firms (77%) had a clear plan and vision for supply chain sustainability and almost a third (30%) had a full-time employee working on it.

But just 8% have met their supply chain sustainability plan because of perceived time and effort. Two fifths (40%) do not have formal KPIs and more than half (55%) have only informal measurement metrics.

Oliver Mueller, co-founder and CEO of iPoint BiS, said: “Sustainability has evolved. Long gone are the days when negative publicity over working conditions in supplier factories was the sole driver for a sustainable supply chain. Retailers and FMCG organisations have started making headway into numerous other environmental concerns.”

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