Supply Chain Sustainability Management & Strategy

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

Supply Chain Sustainability Trends

The expectations of stakeholder groups for supply chain sustainability strategy have transformed in the last 10 years, with increased demands for transparency and action.

While some supply chains convert sustainability into a competitive advantage, others struggle to meet core stakeholder expectations.

Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) can position the supply chain to respond to sustainability trends.

Download the report to learn 3 key trends in supply chain sustainability that can enable a transition to a low-carbon, resilient and resource-efficient economy.

Download the Supply Chain Sustainability Trends Report

Explore 3 key trends in supply chain sustainability

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    Opportunities and Challenges in Supply Chain Sustainability

    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.

    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: Progress from Strategy to Action

    This free webinar, in recognition of Earth Day 2022, features a thought-provoking conversation with Chief Supply Chain Officers on their sustainability journey and the importance of authentic leadership.

    How Microsoft Won the 2022 Supply Chain Award

    Learn how Microsoft achieved circularity at scale initiative with a zero-waste plan.

    Supply Chain Sustainability Scorecard

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

    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.

    Reinventing Supply Chain for the Future

    Winning supply chains are disruption-tough. Download our 2022 eBook to discover the 4 priorities of the Future Supply Chain.

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    Gartner Supply Chain Sustainability Case Studies

    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
    Case Study

    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

    Experience Supply Chain conferences

    Join your peers for the unveiling of the latest insights at Gartner conferences.

    The Gartner Supply Chain Podcast

    The Gartner Supply Chain Podcast explores the latest ideas and innovations for driving sustainable supply chain success. Join your hosts Thomas O’Connor and Caroline Chumakov as they uncover strategic insights and tactical tips in conversation with global supply chain experts.

    Listen Now

    Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2022

    See the 18th annual ranking to learn the standard for supply chain excellence.

    See the Top 25 List

    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.