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Supply Chain
Supplier Engagement Better Equips Business to Tackle Supply Chain Sustainability Issues

Integrating sustainability measurement, tools and practices into supply chains allows businesses create more sustainable consumer products and avoid risks to their bottom line says a new report from The Sustainability Consortium (TSC).

The organization’s 2017 Impact Report, The Call for Collective Action Across Supply Chains, revealed that not only has supplier engagement increased, but 40 percent of the 2,000 suppliers surveyed have taken action to improve their sustainability scores. These actions include creating internal data collection and communication systems, engaging suppliers, changing products or processes, or publicly communicating sustainability efforts.

The 2017 Impact Report also explores why almost 40 percent of suppliers often answer “We are unable to determine at this time” to many sustainability survey questions. According to TSC, while respondents may not currently have the data to answer, they want it to go on record that they plan to obtain the data in the future. To have more suppliers begin to fill out surveys, even with this answer, demonstrates that momentum is gaining for companies to begin transitioning to a more sustainable business model.

“This year has seen an unprecedented increase in the implementation of our work. The heart of what TSC does is harness the demand signal from retailers, brands and other major purchasers to super-charge the implementation of sustainability improvements right across the value chain. If done right, a collective-action model can make rapid, market-changing improvements to unlock growth,” said Euan Murray, Chief Executive of TSC.

Wrangler has used TSC’s science and KPIs to engage our supply chain to understand each individual supplier’s social and environmental performance. This increased transparency allows us to identify improvement opportunities and take action working with individual suppliers to improve performance. We are also able to confer with our peers and colleagues on regions that are in need of additional attention. This cross collaboration is extremely beneficial to us and something that we enjoy participating in,” said Roian Atwood, Director of Sustainability at Wrangler.

TSC published its first-ever Impact Report Greening the Global Supply Chains: From Blind Spots to Hotspots to Action in 2016. The report highlighted a consistent, science-based measurement and reporting system that can serve as an important barometer for the entire consumer goods industry globally. It was vetted by more than 100 diverse stakeholders to assist both manufacturers and retailers in improving transparency and making progress towards their goals for addressing key environmental and social impacts within their product supply chains. Greening the Global Supply Chains covered both the benefit and the environmental cost of producing consumer goods for a growing population.

The 2017 Impact Report is presented fully online with case studies to be published in a serial fashion throughout the rest of the year.