Supply Chain Sustainability Focus Areas Continue to Shift

While supply chain sustainability may enjoy more support as a corporate goal, its growing popularity does not necessarily translate into investment dollars.

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Pressure to support supply chain sustainability (SCS) has increased steadily since last year, though that pressure has focused on different areas than it did last year, according to report published by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). In particular, environmental dimensions of SCS received more attention than in 2020. Climate change mitigation and natural resource/biodiversity conservation saw the biggest increases in interest from last year. Notably, no one issue area saw a decrease in interest from 2020 to 2021.

“With now three years of data and observations, our research is uniquely positioned to observe supply chain sustainability efforts over time—in terms of both priorities and practices,” says David Correll, MIT CTL research scientist and lead investigator on the study. “And this year, we’re extremely pleased to have offered our survey in multiple languages, which allowed us to collect and analyze more responses from more parts of the world to gain an even richer understanding of the state of supply chain sustainability.”

“This is an essential read for anyone in supply chain today,” says Mark Baxa, president and CEO of CSCMP. “Supply chains worldwide are uniquely positioned to be an engine to impact our society positively. The choice of who we choose to do business with, where we do business, and what and how we deliver is essentially in the supply chain's control. Consumers and businesses alike need—and, in fact, demand—that products we source and deliver meet their environmental and social expectations. You will find in the State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2022 a most important, comprehensive global study that supports your ability to benchmark your company and SCS actions.”

From MIT:

  • While SCS may enjoy more support as a corporate goal, its growing popularity does not necessarily translate into investment dollars. As in previous years, SCS goals ranked more highly than investment in 2021.
  • Geographically, the report found notable differences between firms headquartered in the Global North and those in the Global South in terms of which dimensions of SCS they prioritize, which has critical implications for supply chain managers doing business internationally.