Public and investor expectations about corporate sustainability performance and disclosure are growing rapidly and extending into company supply chains. Companies are increasingly recognising that their supply chain holds both substantial risk and opportunity. As a result, many companies have started to engage creatively and proactively with their diverse supply chains to leverage their collective capacity to address sustainability challenges.
Existing supplier engagement frameworks typically promote progressive steps towards collaboration as the ideal form of supplier engagement, but our research shows that this insufficiently captures the complexity of actual company-supplier relations. Instead, there are a variety of suitable engagement approaches that can be positioned along a spectrum between more coordinated and more collaborative. This spectrum of approaches applies to individual companies working with single suppliers, as well as to multiple companies partnering across industries and with other stakeholders to address wider supply chain challenges.
Supply chain sustainability outcomes depend on your company’s ability to find the approach or combination of approaches that best align with current circumstances. Key considerations include your company’s desired objectives, supply chain characteristics, and the readiness of both your company and your suppliers.
This guide aims to help corporate procurement and supply chain professionals to:
- Reflect on their existing supplier engagement approach(es)
- Identify the approach(es) most suited to addressing relevant sustainability issues
- Learn how to leverage appropriate portions of the engagement spectrum for supply chain sustainability