Supply Chain Sustainability Management & Strategy

Business value from smarter packaging, responsible sourcing and strategic materials usage

Achieving supply chain sustainability in the circular economy

The COVID-19 crisis revealed the fragility of globalized, interconnected, complex supply chains.

Gartner recommends that supply chain leaders adopt six strategic imperatives to realize the key benefits of participating in the circular economy.

Consumption-based supply chains are unsustainable and have limited resilience. Supply chain leaders can increase raw materials security by championing the circular economy

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    Companies don't become green or committed to sustainability as a consequence of pressure from the outside, or because of a new CEO who decides to put sustainability on an annual report. Organizations need to embed sustainability into their DNA.

    Chief Supply Chain Officer

    Consumer Goods Industry

    Supply chain sustainability: An opportunity and a challenge

    Supply chain sustainability delivers business value: It reduces costs, spurs productivity and in some cases drives returns. There are also regulatory and compliance reasons to focus on supply chain sustainability. The supply chain organization is well-positioned to help the enterprise balance its profitability and purpose goals as it shifts to supply chain sustainability. The CSCO then must be ready to advise his or her C-suite colleagues, the board and investor relations leaders on how supply chain sustainability addresses ESG risks (environmental, social, governance) and drives competitive advantage. 

    But 30% of supply chain leaders today say they have no or low-maturity supply chain sustainability initiatives. Common obstacles to supply chain sustainability include limited resources, conflicting priorities, lack of understanding of sustainability concepts and low visibility on early wins.

    30% of supply chian leaders say they have no or low-maturity sustainability initiatives.
    Profitability contains revenue growth and profit margins. Sustainability contains resource efficiency, long-term growth, and worker well-being.

    Preparing for a future of supply chain sustainability

    The business case for supply chain sustainability is clear. Increase the maturity of your supply chain sustainability initiatives by following and modeling leaders: Gartner is a partner to hundreds of winning supply chain organizations and has studied and documented in detail their practices for reducing waste in operations, improving energy consumption, and managing supplier relationships for responsible sourcing. We also can guide you in assessing where you are with supply chain sustainability and prioritizing the right supply chain sustainability investments.

    Profitability contains revenue growth and profit margins. Sustainability contains resource efficiency, long-term growth, and worker well-being.

    Supply chain sustainability insights you can use

    Gartner’s insights, advice, data and tools help supply chain leaders develop supply chain sustainability initiatives like smarter packaging, responsible sourcing and strategic materials usage. These initiatives deliver not only sustainability, but also profitability.

    Supply Chain Sustainability Scorecard

    Diagnose the maturity of your supply chain sustainability strategy and identify steps to improvement.

    Responsible Sourcing: Solutions to 3 Top-Ranked Supply Chain Challenges

    Implement responsible sourcing during the procurement process to drive supply chain sustainability.

    Untapped Rewards for the Circular Economy

    Read the excerpt of this executive report to learn how to increase raw materials security by championing the circular economy.

    Sustainable Agriculture: A View From Bayer's Supply Chain

    Learn how Bayer Crop Science is advancing sustainability and efficiency across their entire value chain in an on demand webinar.

    6 Strategic Imperatives for Supply Chain Leaders

    Follow six imperatives to build an agile supply chain strategy.

    Questions about becoming a Gartner client?

    Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo™

    Join the world's most important gathering of CSCOs, supply chain executives along with Gartner experts to transform and innovate your supply chain strategy.

    Client Testimonial

    Discover supply chain best practices from your peers

    During this on-demand panel discussion, you’ll hear from supply chain leaders on how they are continuing to lead during times of disruption. 

    Watch “Panel Discussion: Lead Through Times of Disruption in Supply Chain” to hear:

    • Real-life examples of how companies leveraged Gartner insights and tools to navigate disruption
    • Supply chain innovation and agility during times of disruption
    • How to address your most pressing supply chain challenges

    Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2021

    See the 17th annual ranking of the world’s superior supply chains to learn the standard for supply chain excellence.

    Supply chain sustainability FAQs

    A circular economy is one that decouples resource consumption from growth. A circular economy is crucial to improving resilience by providing new avenues to access raw materials and overcoming barriers to end of life materials management. More than half of supply chain professionals (51%) believe there will be an increased emphasis on the circular economy through 2022.

    Raw materials choices are locked in at the design stage, making it difficult to advance the circular economy. Also, the growing need for end-of-life materials management is driving customer engagement and new business models. Finally, lack of strict selection criteria when engaging in collaborative partnerships threatens to lead to excessive investment of resources for limited return.

    Though supply chain leaders conceptually understand the circular economy, many do not know what strategies to implement to realize its full benefits. Other supply chain leaders do not have an established end-of-life materials strategy (though they do recognize the need for resilience). And still others cannot successfully overcome barriers to end-of-life materials management.

    Gartner recommends the following to advance the circular economy:

    • Engage in product design, raw materials selection and innovation. Provide input into circular economy design principles.
    • Establish customer education programs for end-of-life product management. Assess customer acceptance points for refurbished products. Explore new business models to retain raw materials ownership.
    • Implement selection criteria for collaborative working relationships by defining deliverables and joint value creation.

    Deliver business value from supply chain sustainability

    Gartner provides trusted insights and objective advice to help its 2,500+ supply chain leader clients develop supply chain sustainability initiatives.