Supply chain sustainability (SCS) is a comprehensive aspect of supply chain mechanisms, logistics, and technologies that address the environmental, social, economic and legal aspects of a supply chain’s components. Factors that affect SCS include the amount of waste, carbon footprint and emissions, air pollution, labor violations, deforestation and the health and safety of workers. SCS is based on the principle that is culturally responsible products and practices are not only good for the planet and the people who live here, they are also better for building positive brand awareness, minimizing environmental impact and improving long-term profitability.
An organization’s supply chain connects the inputs to the outputs, outlining the process of producing and delivering consumer goods. Focusing on the supply chain is one aspect of achieving business sustainability as it covers a wide range of areas for improvement. This could include identifying the source of raw materials or surveying the conditions of workers involved in every process of supply chain management.
Historically, supply chain was precisely about logistics and knowing when and where goods were moving, but the growth of the digital supply chain and accompanying visibility and analytics tools has provided companies with the capability to collect data about how well each component in the supply chain demonstrates corporate social responsibility. This transparency has developed the concept of liable sourcing and encouraged supply chain partners to develop and share the finest practices for green operations and coordination. It has also allowed prospective partners to demonstrate consent with industry best standards for worker safety, environmental protection, and business ethics.
In large companies, the purpose of demonstrating supply chain sustainability may be given to a supply chain analyst or sustainability officer. In addition to developing and implementing programs and processes in support of continuity, the job may also contain qualifying new suppliers, ensuring delivery and quality performance targets are achieved and supporting supplier diversity policies.