Sustainability Drives Supply Chain Professionals to Learn New Finance and Accounting Concepts

At JDA’s Focus event, Rich Beck, the Sr. Vice President of Global Operations at PepsiCo, gave the keynote on the second day of the conference. Rich said that their supply chain goals included “digitizing the value chain” (JDA was a key solution provider in this area) and “sustainability.”

I’ve been covering supply chain management for twenty years. Last year, I spent 20 percent of my time on the road. And I hear many, many supply chain speeches. I can count on a few fingers of one hand the number of supply chain executives I have heard say sustainability was one of their major goals.

That will change. 72% of the companies included in The S&P 500 Index® publish sustainability reports, up from just under 20% in 2011. Over time, companies’ sustainability efforts become more mature and corporate sustainability goals filter down and become key supply chain goals as well. And these are not incompatible goals. At PepsiCo supply chain sustainability includes “reducing their inputs while optimizing outputs;” but really, that has always have been a goal for supply chain organizations.

The CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is the best known of the organizations that are helping (or pressuring, depending on your point of view), companies to do better. Thousands of companies work with the CDP to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information.

The CDP scores companies on their performance. “A high performance score signals that a company is measuring, verifying and managing its carbon footprint, for example by setting and meeting carbon reduction targets and implementing programs to reduce emissions in both its direct operations and (the extended) supply chain.” Companies score higher if they are focused not just on internal emissions, but the emissions caused in their extended value chain. This causes a ripple effect as big companies with sustainability goals request their suppliers to also reduce their emissions.

Read more at Sustainability Drives Supply Chain Professionals to Learn New Finance and Accounting Concepts

What is your opinion towards “sustainability”? Do you think it is a priority? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.

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