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Sustainability ‘Highly Important’ to 42% of Supply Chains

Less than half of executives say sustainability is highly important to their company’s supply chain, according to a PwC survey.

Of the 42 percent of respondents who rated sustainability as highly important, 87 percent named optimizing their carbon footprint as their top priority for green adherence in their supply chain, according to the PwC‘s 2013 global supply chain survey, Next-generation supply chains: Efficient, fast and tailored. An equal percentage said that it’s best to reach an agreement with their suppliers on adhering to the highest ethical standards.

Similarly, 81 percent favor collaborating with suppliers to create a responsible supply chain footprint and procurement framework. And 71 percent say effective track-and-trace capabilities are important, too.

More than two-thirds of executives surveyed say sustainability will play a more important role in the supply chains of the future.

A number of companies have already started investing in technologies to reduce their CO2 emissions and excluding any supply chain partners that don’t adhere to the certain ethical standards, but such examples are not yet widespread and aspirations of sustainability tend to exceed action unless there is a clear cost reduction benefit or regulatory requirement being met, according to PwC.

The survey found the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry is the sector most concerned with sustainability in its supply chain. Of the seven industries featured in the report, 67 percent of respondents from that industry named sustainability as an important or very important value driver influencing supply chain decisions. However, even that relatively high response rate puts sustainability as the sixth most-important factor affecting supply chain decisions, far behind delivery performance (100 percent) and cost minimization (94 percent).

Just 38 percent of respondents from the industrial sector rated sustainability as an important or very important value driver influencing decisions about its supply chain.

From May to July 2012, PwC surveyed 503 supply chain executives. Some 44 percent of them hold senior management positions, while 34 percent hold C-level posts.

According to a PwC report released in November, adjusted climate forecasts mean businesses should expect climate change to have an even more destructive effect than previously assumed on supply chains, assets and infrastructure.

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One thought on “Sustainability ‘Highly Important’ to 42% of Supply Chains

  1. It’s great to see supply chain management place more importance on the sustainability and environmental responsibility factors involved in distribution. With time, hopefully we can reduce the environmental impact of global distribution activity.

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