Conscious consumerism is one of the key trends that has gained momentum in the last couple of years. As companies strive to stay relevant by continuously evolving to meet dynamic demands of their customers, a similar approach is required to decipher the environmental, social, and corporate governance concerns. Successful integration of ESG considerations into the supply chain offers a host of benefits, ranging from innovation, continuous product improvement and development, to the competitive advantages gained by demonstrating sustainability and meeting the expectations of a more aware and discerning customer base. It is learnt, 58% of employees consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. Over the past decade ESG has transformed from merely a way for firms to mitigate risk and demonstrate compliance with sustainability best practices into a value creation tool. A strong ESG proposition is therefore necessary for every business to establish long-term resilience.
Embedding ESG in Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Outcomes
Building a sustainable supply chain management system continues to be a priority for a majority of businesses. While companies continue to extend and expand their sustainability programs to include the supply chains they sometimes struggle with actual implementation. We bring you some of the practical steps of how to get started and how to maintain a sustainable supply chain management system for your organization.
Step 1: Assess and evaluate
Define your ESG goals and mission clearly so all your efforts are aligned in the same direction. Defining ESG goals will also help your customers, partners, and employees identify and resonate your brand with the sustainability goals that you stand for.
Step 2: Map out people
Build an ESG task force with senior executives from different departments and the board. This taskforce can provide direction to your ESG strategy and goals. Having the right team members to drive your ESG goals is important for higher ROI and to build trust among all stakeholders.
Step 3: Prioritize company morals and ethics
Identify the factors that affect stakeholder prioritization. Explain why priorities will vary based upon the interest and power of the stakeholder. Describe how to prioritize stakeholder claims, particularly when they conflict.
Step 4: Set measurements and goals
Identify and set the metrics and qualitative details that should be tracked and evaluated at regular intervals. Also provide the format and frequency of reporting.
Step 5: Build momentum
Promoting good ESG performance is vital to reap all the benefits of taking the sustainable path. Make sure you get the word out about your ESG initiatives with the right target audience and on social channels.
Successful integration of ESG into businesses links to strong value creation
Every business, is deeply intertwined with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns. Consumers want to shop for sustainable brands, investors are looking for more sustainable initiatives—even employees want to make sure the companies they work for instill sustainability into the core of what they do. Reports claim, 90% of Gen X consumers would be willing to spend an extra 10% or more for sustainable products, and 36% of B2B decision-makers say that perceptions of environmental commitment influence their purchase decisions. Embedding a good ESG plan into its core strategy can help business deliver long-term value. It entails rethinking & redefining strategy and operational procedures in order to increase and maintain profitability. The following are the likely benefits of incorporating an ESG strategy:
- Attract customers with more sustainable products
- ESG strategies can affect operating profits by as much as 60% [Mc Kinsey]
Regulatory and legal interventions:
- Achieve greater strategic freedom through deregulation
- Earn subsidies and government support
- Boost employee motivation
- Attract talent through greater social credibility
Investment and asset optimization:
- Enhance investment returns by better allocating capital in more sustainable assets and equipment for long-term value
- Build business credibility and improve stakeholder relations
- Maximize benefits through right partnerships with TRUE essence
- Achieve better access to resources through stronger community and government relations
Encouraging ESG considerations for Future-proof Supply Chain
Adoption of environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and a good governance plan can accelerate the operational, cultural, and financial changes required to build a future-proof supply chain. Businesses have to develop a fair and equitable work environment with a sense of responsibility towards the community through local employment, workforce upskilling, training programs, and developing a safe working condition for them to work in. Food businesses also need to focus on promoting sustainability in the supply chain through energy efficient operations, fuel efficient transportation powered by biodiesel and green fuel, eco-friendly packaging and circular supply chains aimed at repurposing waste and returns. This could be achieved through establishing governance policies and controls that ensure the business is done in true spirit, complying with the law and meeting stakeholder obligations.
ESG is more than good intentions. It’s about creating a tangible, practical plan that achieves real results. Through strategic long-term supply chain partnerships, businesses can be better equipped to establish, implement and report their ESG goals. Supply chain partnerships help businesses better align their vision towards a balanced ESG stance and develop positive synergies through green supply chains, social responsibility and business governance. Such partnerships create long-term value & future relevance.
Connect with our experts to re-imagine and strengthen your supply chains capable of reaping maximum ESG benefits to deliver sustainable outcomes.