Consumers have unprecedented opportunity to be active shapers of the products and services they buy and use, rather than passive receivers, taking whatever companies provide. Apples most recent litmus test on corporate social responsibility with its key Chinese supply chain manufacturing partner, Foxconn, and resulting consumer outcry is but just one example of the power that consumers have to sway products manufacturers to alter their business patterns.
“On your mark, get set”…BANG. As a competitive swimmer in my youth, I learned the rhythm of a good start off the blocks, kept my head down and paced myself through to the finish line. I never won the “big” race, but always went for my personal best. It’s that way with sustainability initiatives. Having a good baseline and pushing the limits to improve to the next level.
As we approach the mid-point in 2011, the tea leaves of the economic recovery have ‘sustainability’ in supply chain planning and management firming up as a key “rebuilding” block in company activities. Two recent studies from two different continents bear that notion out. First, consultancy BearingPoint Ireland has released a report which says two-thirds of companies surveyed in Europe believe that a green supply chain is a strategic priority. The report, entitled Green Supply Chain: from awareness to action, is the fourth of a series of “supply chain monitors” from the private consultancy. The study was conducted among about 600 European decision-makers by Novamétrie between 2010 and 2011, with a position within Supply Chain, Sustainable Development or Industrial Divisions. Key industries captured includes: consumer goods, transportation, construction, automotive, industrial goods, retail, energy and utilities, chemicals, IT/electronics and pharmaceuticals, among others.