The New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference

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August 22, 2012      
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Sustainability in the Supply Chain

The latest study from Green Research identifies the trends, tools and best practices at the next frontier in corporate sustainability: the supply chain. The study found that a lack of data standards and concerns about data reliability have hindered supply chain sustainability progress. Sixty-two percent of executives surveyed for the study said their efforts to track supply chain sustainability performance are impaired by a lack of measurement standards. The study advises firms to support industry and cross-industry groups that are working to develop supply chain sustainability standards. An important recent development in this area is the release by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition of its "Higg Index," a standard measure of environmental performance at the product and facility level for the apparel and footwear industries. The Higg Index should dramatically improve communication about performance and sustainability goals throughout apparel supply chains, leading to sustainability improvements over time. The report notes efforts with similar goals in other industries.

How Company Efforts to Obtain Supplier Sustainability Data Will Change

Just a few years ago many companies avoided taking responsibility for the environmental performance of their supply chains, often on the grounds that they had little influence over this aspect of supplier performance. But attitudes are shifting: Sixty-four percent of senior sustainability executives feel their companies can have significant influence on their top suppliers' sustainability performance, and eighty-four percent consider it likely that their companies can obtain much better environmental performance from suppliers without compromising their companies' business goals.

Sustainability improvements sometimes depend on advances in technology – such as renewable energy systems or mechanical or electrical systems with advanced, resource-efficient designs...

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  Towards Zero Impact Growth: Strategies of leading companies in 10 industries
Deloitte teamed up with sustainability visionary John Elkington to help make Elkington's vision of a zero-impact growth economy more accessible to major corporations. The team developed a scoring system to plot companies along Elkington's "pathway to zero," the five stages from recognizing the opportunity of a zero-impact growth strategy to fully embracing one. Of 65 companies studied, none had yet reached the final stage but according to the analysis, six companies – Puma, Natura, Nestlé, Nike, and Ricoh and Unilever – have arrived at the fourth stage. For more information visit the Zero-Impact Growth Monitor site.
  Research Document

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