WEF report

Author: HH Global Marketing
Four images relating to sustainability and distribution of resources

Responsible supply chains boost revenue

World Economic Forum report details potential triple gains

A new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests that improved supply chains can lead to a 20 percent boost in revenue for businesses.

Produced in association with Accenture, “Beyond Supply Chains” describes a "blueprint for triple advantage" consisting of 31 recommended practices to promote social, environmental, and commercial improvements.

The triple advantage consists of increased revenue of up to 20 percent, supply chain costs reduced by up to 16 percent, and a 30 percent increase in a company's brand value. A firm's carbon footprint could also be reduced by 22 percent.

Informed procurement

The report recommends using more sustainable raw materials and components as well as the establishment of supplier audits and controls. It suggests sourcing from local as well as sustainable suppliers, sharing network facilities, and transport and investing in innovative vehicle technology.

While the report relates to consumer goods, specifically regarding at product design, sourcing, distribution, and end of life, the WEF claims that the model can be adjusted to apply to other industries as well. Case studies are used to demonstrate the impact of changes to the supply chain along the lines recommended.

Corporate social responsibility

Workers’ rights also come under the spotlight, with access to formal complaint structures, union recognition, better purchasing practices, benchmarks and code of conduct Stronger and better enforced government legislation on wages and working conditions are also called for, alongside corporate commitments to a living wage. Greater investments in education and infrastructure are also recommended, as it is likely to increase productivity in the long term.

The report concludes that global supply chain directors must consider social and environmental consequences alongside commercial gain. stating that "human rights, in particular, should be non-negotiable".