Here's three reasons why Supply Chain Sustainability is such a challenge:

  1. For the vast majority of organisations, the impacts and risks in the supply chain dwarfs that 'within the factory fence';
  2. You usually have poor visibility of those impacts and risks – many of which may be deliberately hidden from outside eyes;
  3. For those risks you are aware of, you only have indirect control over.

And how do we tackle these challenges? With questionnaires, audits and tick boxes on tender forms. I don't think there is any element of Sustainability where the standard tools are so woefully inadequate compared to the scale of the challenge. And if that's one arm tied behind your back, many organisations bind the other one by stating they would never drop a supplier on Sustainability grounds.

The solution is a complete change in your mindset. Instead of trying to fix your suppliers' problems, you should be challenging them to fix yours. That change in attitude costs nothing and will deliver huge change. Secondly, the ultimate threat – 'Sustainability or Goodbye' – needs to be hanging over all discussions. If not, you're not serious about Sustainability.

We'll be discussing the tools to make this happen on our Green Academy webinar on 6 June 2018: Building A Sustainable Supply Chain – click here for more.


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