Across sectors, a growing number of companies are developing strategies to decarbonize their supply chains. Common best practices agreed by participants at Climate Week include requiring suppliers to disclose sustainability-related information, investing time to listen to suppliers, assessing suppliers based on both the ambition and progress of their science-based sustainability targets, as well as helping suppliers improve their sustainable performance.
From a corporate management perspective, best practices also involve setting up a clear tone from top management on sustainability
From a corporate management perspective, best practices also involve setting up a clear tone from top management on sustainability, communicating effectively with consumers and suppliers, and building a radically transparent and traceable management system. Tangentially to this point it was interesting to see some of the companies emphasizing the importance of the circular economy with one large technology company aspiring to reuse or recycle a product for every new purchase.
One element that companies desire, but the market current lacks, is industry standards on sustainability and the circular economy so that players can be properly aligned, creating some consistency of treatment and a level playing field.
Many of the technology companies have come out to declare that they are currently at a point of net zero emissions, and they deem that to be the case from a full supply chain perspective. It gets tougher to achieve this as we move out the curve to corporates that survive off a more complex and heavier supply chain that could span players across different continents with different agendas.
One of the key declared ambitions for the corporates that spoke up on the issue was to take some ownership of the emissions profiles of their suppliers. This is quite a grandiose task to take on, especially for the producers of more complex product, and requires quite some due diligence across a number of supply chain fronts. But it seems many corporates are up for the challenge.