Accelerating Sustainable Supply Chains
In this month’s Low Carbon Agenda (due out tomorrow), I note quite a few business collaborations were in the news over the last month: P&G, Nestle, Unilever and others working with TerraCycle on closed loop packaging and Bloomberg, Salesforce, Gap and others investing in a major US solar farm. As I explained in my book, Building A Sustainable Supply Chain, this is a clever tactic to accelerate the maturity of sustainable supply chains.
You see, one of the biggest barriers to corporate sustainability is the dominance of unsustainable supply chains, having had decades if not centuries to evolve. It is very hard to break into markets which have had such a head start.
New supply chains, by definition, are immature: high cost, variable quality and lacking security of supply. Only one thing is guaranteed to speed up the maturity of these chains: demand. Collaborating with others increases demand, attracts the attention of/reduces the risk to innovators and sends out a clear message to laggards. So if you’re struggling to find a good source of materials/energy to meet your Sustainability targets, consider ganging up with others to create that demand and undermine the unsustainable status quo.