Sustainability continues to be a hot topic in the world of procurement and supply chain. Forward-thinking companies are looking for ways to source low-impact, environmentally friendly and ethical produce, and identify methods for reducing waste throughout their operations.
This article takes a high-level look at the sustainability developments in the coming year. From shifts in consumer attitudes to digital transformation, read on to discover how sustainability could impact procurement and supply chain in 2022 and beyond.
Consumer attitudes to sustainability
Consumers are demanding a more robust approach from the brands they buy from and companies are rightly falling over themselves to prove their environmental credentials.
Consumers had begun to prioritise sustainability even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now it seems the trend is accelerating. PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey revealed that half of global consumers say they’ve become even more environmentally friendly in the last year. Furthermore, a 2021 survey by Getty Images found that 69% of respondents said they do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint, which is an increase from 63% of those surveyed in July 2019.
If your business is committed to sustainable practices, it is important to promote your values and achievements on your website and marketing collateral and use concrete data to back them up. If you have implemented an innovative energy saving system or committed to an impressive carbon reduction target, why not shout it from the rooftops?
Post-pandemic approaches to sustainability
As the pandemic continued to impact on businesses and communities, climate experts feared that environmental efforts could be curtailed by governments and business leaders in favour of economic recovery. While this could still prove to be the case, we are hopeful that the increasing consumer appetite for sustainability as outlined above should help maintain a balance between getting the world back on its feet financiall and doing the right thing to mitigate climate change.
Experts predict that 2022 will see an acceleration of automated, local supply chains that will create more socially and environmentally friendly options. However, this may force clarity on the trade-off between higher cost relative to what may be available elsewhere, and commitment to lower carbon. Without appropriate mechanisms and guidance such as internal carbon taxes, this is likely to cause tension in the procurement and supply chain sector in 2022.
Sustainability and digital transformation
We’ve talked a lot about digital transformation on our blog and how it can help tackle the biggest challenges to procurement and supply chain. Digital transformation offers valuable opportunities for businesses that want to accelerate their sustainability strategy. Brands can use big data analyses to drill down into carbon data, for example. They can then use the findings to adapt and improve processes based on what they observe.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to identify opportunities to increase product life cycles, instead of disposing of the products at the end of their supposed usefulness. Machine learning technology and big data analysis can also predict carbon footprints of alternative supplier options and identify risks in the supply chain that might impact sustainability programs.
All these initiatives can help to build deeper resilience into supply chains and meet sustainability goals. But in order to succeed you need the right team on board. If you are looking to upskill or digitally transform your team, contact the team at Bramwith today. We have access to the top procurement and supply chain talent and we would love to help.
Adopting an ESG Framework
While environmentally-focused sustainability is critical, the strategy should be part of a wider ESG framework. ESG can be described as follows:
So, in addition to honouring your environmental responsibilities, a holistic sustainability strategy incorporates your commitment to better labour standards, executing a robust corporate governance strategy and much more. Each element of your ESG program overlaps and supports one another so it’s vital you take all of them into account when developing and executing your sustainable business strategy.
While we don’t know what challenges 2022 will bring, we can be sure that the most successful procurement and supply chain businesses will be those that are committed to better governance, listening to their customers, mitigating risk and ensuring they have the top talent on board to succeed.
If you need support in the coming year with building your procurement and supply chain team, or if you are looking for a new role in procurement and supply chain, talk to us. We can help.
Would you like us to hold onto your details so that we can keep you up to date with relevant opportunities?
Copyright (c) 2019 Bramwith Consulting. All rights Reserved.
Site designed and built by Venn Digital