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What is the roadmap for your sustainable supply chain?

Developing a sustainable supply chain requires a systematic approach. Image: CSC Advisory.

Navigating the complex landscape of sustainable supply chain management requires a comprehensive roadmap. Brendan O’Keeffe, from Circular Supply Chain Advisory, provides insights into key questions to address when developing your strategy.

To kickstart your journey towards a sustainable supply chain, Brendan emphasises the importance of a materiality assessment that integrates seamlessly with your risk assessment.

He advises, “It’s about understanding what material to your business is, and then integrating that into your risk assessment process.” This integrated approach ensures that your sustainability efforts are aligned with the most significant issues affecting your supply chain, which enables you to prioritise effectively and mitigate risks proactively.

Brendan highlights the invaluable role of supply chain assessment in shaping your sustainability strategy and framework.

He explains, “By understanding where your biggest impacts and significant risks are, you can then start to think about the alignment of your strategy and framework around sustainability.”

This proactive approach empowers organisations to identify areas for improvement, establish clear goals, and implement targeted initiatives that drive positive economic, environmental and social outcomes throughout the supply chain.

In the pursuit of decarbonisation, Brendan underscores the importance of evaluating critical opportunities and adopting robust scope reporting mechanisms, in particular Scope 3.

He suggests, “Start by understanding where your emissions are coming from in your external supply chains and what those critical opportunities are for your business to decarbonise.”

This strategic assessment enables companies to identify emission hotspots, implement effective mitigation measures, and track progress towards carbon reduction targets, ultimately contributing to a greener and more sustainable supply chain.

This will support supplier partnerships and drive towards common objectives.

Embracing resource recovery and circular procurement presents significant opportunities for circular and sustainable supply chain management.

Brendan advises organisations to focus their efforts on circular economy impacts, stating, “There’s a lot of opportunities around resource recovery and circular procurement, and it’s really about focusing your efforts there.”

By adopting circular practices, such as product refurbishment, remanufacturing, returns and finally recycling, businesses can minimise waste, conserve resources, create economic value across the entire supply chain and benefit their products long-term.

Navigating governance and legislation frameworks is essential for ensuring compliance and fostering responsible supply chain reporting practices.

Brendan stresses the need to address these challenges, stating, “It’s important to understand the governance and legislation frameworks in which you operate; both local and global impacting regulations.”

By staying abreast of regulatory requirements and industry standards, organisations can mitigate legal risks, uphold ethical standards, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to stakeholders and consumers alike.

Developing a sustainable supply chain requires a systematic approach that encompasses materiality assessment, strategic evaluation, emissions reduction, circular procurement, and compliance with governance frameworks.

By following the roadmap outlined by Circular Supply Chain Advisory, companies can not only enhance their environmental performance but also drive operational efficiency, resilience, and long-term value creation across their supply chains and their integrated partnerships.

For more information on CSC Advisory, click here.


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