The Global Compact and BSR have launched a joint project to develop strategic guidance to guide interested companies in introducing the ten principles of the Global Compact into supply chains and drive processes.

In addition to this guideline, the Global Compact and BSR have published an online self-assessment and learning tool that enables companies to determine where they stand in terms of sustainability and how the sustainability concept can be implemented holistically in the supply chain step by step. In terms of content, the learning tool closely follows the present guideline and also contains various interactive elements.

Develop a vision

A clear vision and clear goals in building a sustainable supply chain will give direction to your strategy and help define your commitment. A vision is a useful benchmark when it comes to assessing the achievements and weaknesses of the sustainability program. Decisive for the success of the program is that the management is committed to the development of the entrepreneurial vision and goals. In order to secure leadership support, decision makers and senior executives across the business lines involved in the supply chain need to be involved and heard in the development of the vision. Those responsible must think about the role of the representatives of the departments concerned, such as purchasing, production, corporate responsibility, design, marketing, logistics, quality assurance, compliance, law, personnel, and health, safety and the environment

Protection in the development and implementation of the supply chain sustainability program. It is also important for small companies that the management supports the vision of a sustainable supply chain. At the end of this process, there must be an explanation of the vision and the self-obligation. When
formulating the explanation, consider what motivates the company to invest in sustainable supply chain management. Does the company’s commitment go back?

  • Claims or concerns of customers?
  • Claims by non-governmental organizations and activist groups about practices in the company’s supply chain that are damaging your brand and the company’s reputation?
  • Inquiries from investors who want to know how to deal with risks in the supply chain?
  • Violations of regulations and standards that hinder your business from doing business?
  • Cost increases due to increasing demand and limited supply of natural resources?
  • Pressure from competitors who also develop programs to build a sustainable supply chain?
  • The corporate culture in which sustainability is important, as well as the corresponding services?
  • A business interest in solving major environmental and social problems in order to secure the future of the company in the long term?

In addition, concrete goals and potential obstacles or risk events that could hinder the company from achieving its goals must be determined. What does the company hope to achieve with its sustainability program? What are your long-term goals? How does a sustainable supply chain support the business strategy of the company? The goals can be very different. In addition to strategic goals (for example, creating long-term benefits for the company) and operational goals (such as reducing costs by reducing
energy use, waste, and rejects), it can also be to improve the company’s reputation Example, a change of attitude among stakeholders) or to comply with all applicable legislation completely (compliance goal).

Depending on the reasons behind the company’s commitment and its purpose, the explanation of the vision should reflect the long-term goal of the sustainability program. The following page contains an example of two explanations for a company’s vision. This can change over time. If you recognize existing problems and gain initial experience, it may be necessary to reformulate the vision.

Example: Argentine food and sweets producer Grupo Arcor has received increasing numbers of inquiries from customers, banks, authorities and chambers of industry and commerce on the sustainability and supply chains of the company. In response, the company launched the Supplier Social Responsibility program and developed a vision to extend its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to supplier relationships. The objectives of the program are in detail:

  • Commitment of suppliers to the company’s CSR practices and conclusion of related contract agreements
  • Ensuring common minimum sustainability standards in all production and administrative processes of the company
  • Increase and improve the supplier base of Grupo Arcor, focusing on the economic participation of disadvantaged producer groups that are normally excluded from the market.

The program has three main strategies: awareness-raising and training, taking account of corporate responsibility in supplier selection, and responsible purchasing projects.