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How to Unlock the Supply Chain – To Deliver on Sustainability

Article submitted to ALCAS by EcoProfit

In the context of ESG, we are seeing and hearing an ever-increasing reference to the words, circularity and sustainability. With this has come a more frequent reference to the value chain, the value chain being all the primary and secondary activities from material, product or service supply through to the end of use, the Life-cycle.

A critical part of the value chain is the supply chain and its analysis. We are bombarded with online propositions purporting to show us how to measure performance, what standards we should apply, which is the best platform for reporting etc etc. People working in supply chain management are invariably confused as to what products/programs are good and or bad.

With this amount of information, it is no wonder businesses and companies are not progressing their ESG transition pathways with the momentum they (and their shareholders) expect. The overload of information, opinion and expectation is resulting in conflicting levels of complexity resulting in procrastination and paralysis. The outcome is not only limited to an unnecessary delay in the call to action on climate change, it is also a delay to unlocking of the supply chain towards greater efficiency, better pricing, more supply security and last but not least, enhanced sustainable environmental performance.

So how do you make the step-change to unlock the supply chain; to move from inaction to action? Easy, don’t accept the supply chain as complex. You can make it simple if you understand the process and put a rush-slowly plan into place. No matter the magnitude of your ESG transition pathway, you can meet and even exceed expectations right now.

The first step in unlocking a supply chain is to understand it. This includes knowing the people, systems, processes and environment that underpin the operational supply chain. And let's not forget that everybody and every industry has a supply chain of some description.

Every product, service or material that passes through the supply chain starts with inputs which are then converted into a subsequent product, service or material (i,e output). Invariably there is also the generation of other outputs or by-products such as emissions, waste, pollution, water consumption etc.

Accordingly, understanding the supply chain is one of the best mechanisms to monitor, measure and report on your ESG transition pathway, and to be able to overlay the strategic ESG metric at an operational tactical level to get the results expected.

The key enabler to get to this point is ‘People’, again an obvious assumption, so let’s rephase that ‘The Right People’ with the knowledge, skills, experience and time to assist and support businesses and companies on this journey, versus generic service offerings, software packages, business models that may seem to deliver value for money and meet expectations.

Both ECO Circular Sustainable Supply Chain (ECO CSSC) and Ecoprofit have developed a business model to complete forensic reviews of businesses supply chains to assist companies extract the most value out of the supply chain to meet their ESG expectations and goals, unlock the supply chain towards greater efficiency, better pricing, and supply surety.

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