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Study: Companies Prioritizing Supply Chain Sustainability, But the Real Work Remains Ahead

February 5, 2016

Study: Companies Prioritizing Supply Chain Sustainability, But the Real Work Remains Ahead

by Yves Leclerc , David South

Our recent research suggests that sustainability is gaining some traction in business, yet few organizations have taken meaningful steps toward developing a green supply chain. Furthermore, North American companies lag their European counterparts.

While the concept of “sustainability” is the subject of much discussion in boardrooms, many organizations still struggle with determining what sustainability means for their businesses and supply chains — and more significantly, with committing the resources necessary to make meaningful change.

West Monroe Partners and the Supply and Value Chain Center at Loyola University Chicago wanted to gain insight into how companies are addressing sustainability in their supply chains and adapting to changing consumer preferences. So we recently surveyed more than 50 executives of companies ranging in size from $100 million to over $120 billion across an array of industries. This study follows on our previous year’s research, which examined whether consumers would be willing to pay more or wait longer to have products delivered sustainably.

The bottom line: Just over half (51 percent) of U.S. supply chain and sustainability leaders said they consider developing a sustainable supply chain a current strategic priority, and an additional 36 percent plan to address it in the short, mid or long term. The leading motivators for pursuing sustainability initiatives are brand improvement, followed by innovation in products and processes. Factors such as cost-reduction opportunities, competition, and lobbying have had less influence.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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