Global Corporates showing the way: Supply “Chain” sustainability +

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Sustainability – Transparency – Collaboration

…are THE 3 things I reckon I have blogged most about over the last 18+ months. Of course, that is when I’m not banging on about complexity, risk and randomness or having a pop at bankers, politicians and the insurance industry! Suddenly I sound like an angry guy with a laptop but that’s not really me. Honest.

In more recent times the focus for most of these topics has, for a variety of reasons, fallen on the [Global] Supply Chain (GSC). One of the principal reasons for this is the realisation that, whilst inter-connectedness is a feature of most modern business, right at the forefront is GSC.


GSC is scheduled for MAJOR changes over the next few years, not least of all will be a transition, via Global Value Chain (GVC), to a more accurate reflection of the nature of the beast: Global Value Network (GVN).

In truth the term “chain” is already a misnomer as it conveys a strength that has been badly corroded by the rise of “opacity” that accompanied transactional (cost plus) relationships – focused upon price and compromised on customer quality. ,

This will mark the final transition from, post-industrial revolution, linear supply chains to dynamic networks (non-linear systems) and with it, as we are already seeing, the re-introduction of transparent partnerships demonstrating interdependence and intent upon delivering sustainable VALUE.

The firms that presume to dine at this heavily-laden table in the years ahead must heed the warning that, to do so will require them to step up to the plate in these areas…so, if you want to gain some competitive advantage, best start now. No excuses about economic climate. Plan and invest now. Get your strategy right, because I predict that GVN’s will provide the template that will cascade to every meaningful level of business. GVN’s are the ideal conduit….but the flipside of all this new flexibility is where planning gets tough. Go figure and give me some feedback:

GVN’s MUST cater for a smarter, more discerning, marketplace and be robust . So prospective Partners can have no fear of reciprocal transparency when it comes to sharing:

  • financial fitness – NOT availability of credit, not bank ref, not credit agency rating, not last audited accounts
  • sustainability credentials – not mere “greenwashing”
  • quality components/products, management and processes – demonstrable
  • flexibility – NOT optimisation
  • connected loss prevention, protection and survival strategy*

*a new “risk horizon” is required to prepare for: systemic risk (contagion); uncertainty (randomness); complexity.PLEASE consider the flipside of inter-connectedness and let me know what you think.

The Procter & Gamble Company announced last week that it is accelerating its commitment to environmental sustainability with the release of a long-term environmental sustainability vision. According to P&G, this new vision includes:

  • Powering its plants with 100 percent renewable energy
  • Using 100 percent renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging
  • Having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills
  • Designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources

The company will also implement very specific 10-year sustainability goals, as outlined in this graphic:

“We recognize our impact as a global company and accept our responsibility for continual improvement. By implementing this new vision, P&G is trying to help solve some of the key sustainability challenges the business community will face over the coming decades,” Len Sauers, P&G Vice President, Global Sustainability, said. “I am convinced that innovation can uncover solutions to the major sustainability issues facing us — challenges like waste, emissions, and water use. Innovation and external partnerships are key components of a successful sustainability program. No one company can do it alone. It is important for companies to collaborate with external partners to tackle important topics that impact both our world and our businesses.”

Through initiatives like this long-term vision, P&G continues to distinguish itself as a corporate sustainability leader. It’s also worth noting that the company has made it a priority to promote industry-wide transparency and collaboration with regard to environmental stewardship.

More information about P&G’s sustainability plan is available here.

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