Every procurement and supply chain professional knows the importance of meeting sustainability objectives. However, a recent report by the global consultancy, Bain & Co has revealed that almost a third (31%) of businesses around the world failed to deliver against Scope 1 & 2 decarbonization targets that were set for 2020.
This short article reveals some of the key findings of the survey and the five steps identified by Bain that companies can take to bridge the gap between ambition and action. We’ll also reveal how businesses can strengthen sustainability programs through the right recruitment strategy.
The key findings of Bain’s report
Bain’s analysis revealed the number of companies that are focusing on science-based targets such as decarbonization has nearly quadrupled since 2020, though there is some disparity when it comes to the level of commitment from businesses in different parts of the world. Over half (57%) of science-based commitments to date come from businesses in EMEA, with just 19% coming from the Americas and 24% from APAC.
Bain’s data, which comes from CDP, a non-profit that runs the world’s largest environmental disclosure system, revealed that more than a quarter missed these targets by a substantial margin. This figure is below 80% of their target.
Businesses are clearly struggling to match the pledges they are making to the public as well as investors and regulators. The pressure is immense and can sometimes overwhelm business leaders as Jenny Davis-Peccoud, co-leader of Bain & Company’s Sustainability & Responsibility practice acknowledges. “CEOs have been bold in setting ambitious targets, while the roadmap to full delivery is still unclear and highly challenging. Successful leaders bring together what we call ‘dreamers’ and ‘doers’ in their executive teams to get to pragmatic solutions to visionary goals, steering toward net-zero even through the macroeconomic and political turbulence in which we find ourselves.”
So what can procurement and supply chain professionals do to remedy this?
Bain & Company’s new research outlines five steps companies can take.
Put a premium on strategic adaptability: Companies need to be aware of the direction of travel, notably in the regulation and technology spaces to inform the living strategy.
Proactively address investor dissonance: Executives need to strengthen the investor dialogue, focusing on strategic clarity to address the company’s green ambition and its growth and return aspiration.
Decarbonize customer-back: Companies should start decarbonization with the customer in mind and work backwards across offerings, operations and the supply chain.
Collaborate where it matters: The carbon transition must be tackled by engaging the wider ecosystem of customers, suppliers, peers, governments and civil society.
Create “net-zero heroes” in middle management: Organizations must upskill employees to create effective green middle management by being clear on what decisions to make and how to resolve trade-offs when they occur.
Growing your team to meet sustainability goals
If you’re a regular reader of the Bramwith blog you’ll no doubt have seen our content on the importance of digitally transforming your team. Digital transformation offers many valuable opportunities for procurement and supply chain businesses to effectively tackle the challenges around protecting the environment and meeting their sustainability goals. These include:
Using Big Data to more effectively analyze carbon data over time, using the learnings to adapt and improve processes, tools and ways of working.
Increase product lifecycles using the Internet of Things (IoT) rather than simply disposing of the products.
Use machine learning technology and analyses from Big Data to predict the carbon footprints of potential suppliers and identify risks in the supply chain that could impact sustainability objectives.
Naturally, you need the right people on your team to help you achieve your sustainability objectives. At Bramwith we are connected to the brightest procurement and supply chain talent across the USA. These are the digital transformation professionals you need to grow your business and help you build a resilient and effective sustainability program.
Contact us today to find out more.
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