From codes of conduct to factory audits, from environmental scorecards to multi-stakeholder dialogues, the tools for businesses to create sustainable supply chains are countless in numbers. But so do the challenges faced by businesses in implementing these tools and driving sustainable practices across their supply base – an obvious example would be Apple, among many others.
To address these challenges, attention has been traditionally given to the buyer-supplier relationship. Most the conferences out there focus on this (see this one for example), but is it where the solutions are?
Not really. The gap between policy and practice appears to be mostly an internal challenge, rooted within the buying company. Internal departments – legal, financial, operational, and sustainability – pursue conflicting agendas and often fail to work together to implement consistent policies and practices.
Would you agree?
This is one of the key findings from the white paper written by Edelman (disclosure: my employer) and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), after we spoke to 20 companies across sectors to uncover the practical issues in turning sustainable supply chain policies into practice. To read the white paper, please click here.