A sustainable supply chain translates into increased business value.  This is one of the key findings “Reducing Risk and Driving Business Value,” a new report issued jointly by The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Accenture that summarizes survey responses from companies in the supply chain of the 54 CDP Supply Chain Member companies who use the CDP’s Supply Chain questionnaire. All of the companies who issued questionnaires (including L’Oreal, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever, to name a few) have significantly large supply chains and a combined spending power of US$1 Trillion.  

With over 2,300 supply chain questionnaire responses, the report highlights several important key findings. In addition to finding that many supply chain companies are beginning to see greater business value emanating from their initial sustainability efforts, both in terms of operations efficiency and brand and reputation enhancement, the report confirms that:

  • Suppliers perceive climate change impacts, such as natural disasters and severe weather events, as posing significant current or future risks to their businesses or revenue streams; but
  • The CDP Supply Chain Member companies (who issued the Supply Chain questionnaires) are still disproportionately addressing climate change factors and investing in emission reductions as compared to their suppliers.

These factors demonstrate a significant amount of work to be done at supply chain companies to reap the advantages of incorporating strategic sustainability into their organization.  If, as is expected, these 54 large, multi-national CDP reporting companies continue to apply pressure to their suppliers to address perceived risks of climate change, the pace at which sustainability efforts trickle down into the supply chain is likely to quicken within the next few years.

A complete copy of the report, along with an analysis of the survey highlights, can be found at https://www.cdproject.net/CDPResults/CDP-Supply-Chain-Report-2013.pdf.