Supply chain sustainability on the agenda for leading logistics companies

70% of supply chain professionals share optimism that net-zero supply chains can be achieved but only with radical re-engineering of business models.

Supply chain professionals are optimistic about achieving net-zero supply chains, as revealed at leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA’s Extraordinary Best Practice Forum. 

More than 40 supply chain professionals from across the grocery and home appliance sectors joined the Forum to discuss how the industry can work towards achieving a net zero supply chain. Attendees included key decision-makers at global brands including major grocery, FMCG manufacturers, homeware businesses and home appliance suppliers.

Much of the forum focused on how supply chains can become net zero, with stakeholder collaboration, organisational purpose and a requirement for a framework process being key takeaways for meeting this goal. Whilst over 70% of attendees believed that net zero supply chains can be achieved within their organisations, radical re-engineering of business models was cited as the key way that this status could be reached.

Naturally, sustainability and green credentials were a recurring theme. For businesses that are invested in achieving a net-zero supply chain, participants were encouraged to look for changes that could be made every day in their role.

This sentiment was echoed further by speakers highlighting the need to be mindful of waste produced within each stage of the chain, from production processes to the delivery of goods. 

Speakers discussed how logistics teams can champion the green journey throughout their companies and over 88% of attendees reported being directly involved in projects to improve environmental sustainability within their organisation, with transport and logistics emissions being the most prominent area of focus (34%). Other areas of focus for improving environmental credentials included prioritising packaging improvements (18%), collaborating with suppliers (15%) and working with customers (15%).

Speakers for the virtual event included co-founder of the Future-Fit Foundation, Martin Rich, the not-for-profit organisation focused on helping businesses become truly sustainable. Martin started Future-Fit eight years ago and works with businesses to achieve ambitious sustainability goals that align with the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals.

Muryel Boulay, a Senior SCALA Associate, also spoke at the event. Boulay also runs her own business and provides tools and expertise to help businesses grow the positive impact that the organisation can have on the people, the community and the planet. Through her work, Muryel specialises in business sustainability and CSR and encourages businesses to integrate sustainability into the way that they operate.

John Perry, managing director at SCALA, said: “This extraordinary Best Practice event was a great opportunity for sector leaders to come together and consider how they can facilitate greater sustainability in their operations and support the journey towards a net zero supply chain. 

“After a turbulent year for the sector, with every business needing to manage the immediate impacts of the pandemic. However, this Forum revealed that net zero ambitions and sustainability initiatives are now moving up the corporate agenda, with consumers and employees demanding more from the businesses they support and work for.

“Collaboration with key stakeholders, communicating organisational purpose and having a framework for prioritising and monitoring will be the key to working towards net zero supply chains. Coming together as an industry, understanding our collective carbon footprint and analysing the materiality of our organisation, are steps we all must endeavour to take.”

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