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The Continued Push for Sustainability in Supply Chain

The Continued Push for Sustainability in Supply Chain

Nov. 10, 2020
Collective actions with a complete cradle-to-cradle approach are necessary for greater climate protection goals in the supply chain, says a new study.

For sustainability to take an even greater hold in the supply chain, a new study by Miebach Consulting suggests that consumers must first rethink and transform this new way of thinking into action and demand. And companies must press ahead with their efforts. 

"Those who think ahead now and lay the foundation for sustainable business activities can profit greatly from the newly developing market," says Thorsten Gensmer, director of Miebach Consulting. "Collective actions with a complete cradle-to-cradle approach are necessary for greater climate protection goals in the supply chain." 

In mid-2020, the international supply chain consultancy examined which strategies and measures companies are taking to make supply chains sustainable, and to what extent sustainability and corporate goals can be combined. 277 companies took part in the global online study, including an unusually high proportion of managing directors (18%), which illustrates the importance and strategic significance of the topic.

The surveyed companies have implemented an average of 16 sustainability initiatives in their companies.

For the future, however, the surveyed companies plan to almost double (+97%) the number of sustainable initiatives already implemented within the next few years. 

With regard to the most recent and the next planned initiatives the results are as follows:

  • 15% cited cost reduction
  • 14% were looking for an improvement in efficiency
  • 7% desired a CO2 reduction
  • 7% wanted to reduce plastics and increase green packaging.  

Sustainable measures based on ecological or social motivation, such as employee health and safety (1%) or environmental protection (1%), are rarely mentioned.

In general, sustainable initiatives are considered less attractive if they require a high level of resource input, such as the development of reverse logistics, which is rated at just 4.2 out of 10 points. Even already complex topics, such as network planning, which is rated 4.6, are perceived as less important. Therefore, resource-saving and relatively simple measures are generally preferred.

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