How the SDGs are reshaping companies’ approach to supply chain


By Sebastian Arnold, freelance writer.

It’s no secret that sustainability is on everyone’s radar. But did you know that 64% of people in the UK have limited their single-use plastic consumption as a result?

Nowadays, companies must do more than just provide excellent products at excellent prices. To make a sale, you need to show consumers that you are a sustainable business with a sustainable supply chain. If you’re wondering how, read on to find out.

Why are SDGs important?

Although in the current economic climate, it might be tempting to think that SDGs are not of significance, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Governments have now decided to make supply chain due diligence obligatory. As such, companies are going to have to take steps to better their oversight, action, and reporting.

If that wasn’t enough, there are even more reasons to consider your sustainability strategy. For example, according to a recent survey, 67% of people are more willing to apply for and accept jobs from sustainable companies. So, you can actually attract, nurture and retain talent far more easily if you take SDGs seriously.

Why are SDGs being implemented?

To put it bluntly, companies need to do better to achieve a more sustainable future for all. As corporate supply chains have grown larger and more complex, this means that inevitably things go wrong. As a result of the complexity of supply chains, this often means that the human cost of errors can be catastrophic. As such, businesses’ legacies can be destroyed in moments.

SDGs are a way to help prevent this. 

How can businesses implement sustainability practices?

One way to do this is to ensure that all the steps of production and delivery of your products comply with environmental and health and safety protocols. For instance, all staff who works in the warehouse should be wearing hi-vis jackets and the materials involved in the production should be ethically sourced.

You can also harness the power of technology to make your business more sustainable and efficient. For example, you may wish to invest in:

  • Cloud computing – Cloud computing can help businesses with data collection and storage concerning your customers, orders, products, and shipment. You can also use this technology to keep a close eye on your supply chain, to ensure everything is running as it should be.
  • Machine learning – Using tools like AI, you can improve your processes by implementing automatic warehouse operations, improving your delivery, and managing your inventory. All of which can help you see where you can become more sustainable.

Final thoughts…

Although sustainability might seem scary, it’s important to rethink your approach to the supply chain. By starting small and working up to huge changes in your supply chain (such as cloud computing and AI), you can ensure you’re building a business that’s fit for the future.

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