A new World Economic Forum report has outlined 31 proven practices that can boost revenues and brand value, improve competitiveness and reduce costs for companies with large value chains.
Beyond Supply Chains: Empowering Value Chains reveals that companies included in the analysis have improved their competitiveness through increases in revenue (5-20 percent), a reduction in supply chain costs (9-16 percent) and a boost in brand value (15-30 percent), while reducing their operational risks.
The practices, which span product design, sourcing, production and distribution through to the end of the product lifecycle, can help companies shrink their carbon footprints by 13-22 percent.
The practices also help companies contribute to local development, including the health, welfare and working conditions of the communities in which they operate.
The report, written in collaboration with Accenture, outlines 31 practices that can help companies realise the “triple supply chain advantages” identified through interviews with 25 corporations — including Nestlé, SABMiller, Unilever and UPS — non-government organisations and other sustainability experts.
In addition to outlining practices that others have successfully used, the report also offers guidelines executives can apply to evaluate the value-creation potential of their organisations’ supply chain practices and prioritise sustainability investments. It also provides guidance for businesses looking to engage in ethical commerce.
Aside from the financial and brand value advantages, responsible supply chains enable companies — and entire countries — to be more resilient in a world increasingly vulnerable to climate-change risks. According to a CDP report released in January, lack of preparation has left supply chains in Brazil, China, India and the United States more vulnerable to climate risks than those in Europe and Japan.
The WEF report can be downloaded here.