Sustainability is fast becoming a key conversation starter in unlocking greater efficiency and cost savings in the supply chain, a new global report has found.
The report: Now, Next and how for Business from HSBC, surveyed 8,650 business decision-makers in 34 global markets and has revealed that for many businesses, becoming more sustainable is beneficial for their bottom line.
“Never has there been a more important time for businesses to play their part in creating a more sustainable future,” the report says.
The report found that 81% of companies value ethical and environmental sustainability as important to them and 83% want to be seen as an ethical or environmentally sustainable company. Almost one in five (17%) companies globally plan to increase their emphasis on their ethical and environmental standards. This is higher for companies in emerging market countries (21%) than those in developed markets (15%).
The supply chain proves crucial in this regard, as one in five companies globally (20%) have expressed that they have greater control of their supply chain over the last two years. Close to a third of all businesses (31%) around the world are looking to make sustainable changes to their supply chain, as 37% recognises it as the highest objective behind cost saving (38%) and increasing profits/revenue (36%).
Cost savings, efficiencies and higher profits are still a key driver for businesses and have become recognised as one of the major drivers of sustainable supply chain changes. 84% of businesses are making ethically or environmentally sustainable changes to their supply chains to enable cost efficiency, while 84% are looking to make changes in order to improve revenue and financial importance.
As to what the changes are? HSBC found that more than a quarter of businesses in both manufacturing and services sectors said that increasing their use of technology was the top change planned for their supply chains (28%).
The top five changes planned for the next five years also include doing business in new markets (24%), increasing focus on strategic suppliers in supply chains (22%), selecting suppliers based in their sustainability practices (20%) and changing to lower cost suppliers (20%).