What Makes a Supply Chain Sustainable?
A supply chain is sustainable if it has long-term support in both natural and social aspects. In other words, a sustainable supply chain knows what its limitations are when it comes to social and environmental resources and is able to operate within these limits. The focus is on what will last rather than just what is legal, ethical, or responsible. In order to make improvements in sustainability, a company must be able to track, measure, and analyze information about the environmental and social impacts it is creating. It becomes even more important to have precise data when it comes to risks, costs, and compliance, so that supply chains can more accurately predict what will be sustainable and what won’t.
A company looking to increase sustainability from their suppliers can begin by identifying challenges their suppliers may be facing and then make an effort to support them. Communicating expectations about sustainability will help suppliers to see the long-term goals and work with you to reach them. Next conduct an assessment or have suppliers fill out a questionnaire so you can collect data and find out where improvements need to be made. Finally, initiate a training process to ensure everyone knows the protocol for achieving sustainability.