US supply chain transparency improves

It has been observed that there is a rapid year-on-year improvement in the commitment to measure transparency in the supply chains by the suppliers in the United States, says a report by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC). The report on the trends in sustainability is based on the key performance indicators (KPI) that drive the sustainability index.



The 2018 Impact Report, 'Transparent Supply Chains for Better Business' stated that in comparison to the data from 2016 to 2017, fewer organisations chose the KPI response 'Unable to determine at this time'. The average supplier scores increased 3 per cent, from 33 per cent to 36 per cent. While, the number of individual KPI scores between 0 and 10 per cent has decreased from 50 per cent to 48 per cent from 2015 to 2017. The number of KPI scores between 90 and 100 per cent has increased from 22 per cent to 26 per cent from 2015 to 2017.

"In 2017, we saw an unprecedented increase in the implementation of our work, and we saw more companies commit to improve their performance. This is a clear response to the demand signal from retailers, brands and other major purchasers to improve supply chain transparency, understand sustainability impacts and take action to improve. It’s also a positive response to growing consumer demands, and another endorsement of the idea that sustainability is good for business," TSC chief executive Euan Murray said.

TSC’s report also showed that the highest-scoring companies were those that have been working on sustainability the longest. That group has the highest scores, the biggest improvements and the best track-record in transparency and sustainability. It also means there’s a clear path for all other companies to follow.

For the majority of suppliers who did not score in the upper ranges, the best way to improve their score is to improve the transparency of their supply chain. Suppliers who participated in TSC’s training were asked if they had done anything in the past year to improve their sustainability index score, and 88 per cent answered yes, with over half of those suppliers saying that they had engaged their own suppliers around sustainability performance and relevant data, the report revealed.

"The year-to-year comparisons suggest that most companies are to be able to improve their transparency over a period of one to two years. From our experience in working with suppliers, increases in scores have occurred in part because brand manufacturers have improved the systems to increase transparency into what is happening in their factories and supply chains. This is all positive evidence that increasing transparency is happening as a measured outcome," Dr Kevin Dooley, TSC chief scientist, said.

"Over the last three years, Spectrum Brands has worked to improve our scores on the sustainability index, powered by TSC. We saw our scores improve, directly leading to new business efficiencies. We joined TSC not only to support the great work the organisation puts out to help companies like ours improve sustainability efforts and become more efficient, but also to take action on the major issues we face in sustainability today," said Dan Hutter, DVP and chief sustainability officer, Spectrum Brands, said.

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