More than half of North American supply chain executives currently consider developing a sustainable supply chain as a strategic priority, according to a new study by West Monroe Partners.
The study, conducted in partnership with Loyola University’s Supply and Value Chain Center and BearingPoint, also found that of companies that plan to implement sustainability initiatives, improved competitive advantage and brand image are the key motivators.
Over the next one to three years, 36% of companies have plans to incorporate sustainability into their operations and 22% of that group plan to do so in the next one to three years.
Last year, West Monroe conducted a sustainability survey amongst North American consumers and found that more than half of consumers are willing to pay at least 5% higher prices for products ordered online if they’re delivered sustainably, and 76% would wait at least one extra day for climate-friendly transport.
“It’s telling that more companies aren’t implementing sustainable business practices in their operations given the demands of customers,” says Yves Leclerc, managing director at West Monroe Partners. “Most supply chain teams are struggling to manage the complexities of globalization, the war for talent and increasing demands so allocating budget and resources towards sustainability doesn’t seem feasible unless companies can put together a business case for the return on the investment.”
Looking at the European market 59% of companies surveyed stated that developing a sustainable supply chain is already a strategic priority.
Similar to North American respondents, European supply chain executives also cite brand image improvement as the most important motivator. Innovation was far less important in European respondents than in North American respondents (36% versus 47%). Dissimilar to North American respondents, European supply chain executives placed the highest importance on the economic impacts of sustainability whereas North American executives prioritized environmental impact.