Achieving real change for sustainability in supply chains
Businesses are facing increasing pressure to perform sustainably — and supply chain operations are fundamental to sustainability performance. Despite this, the unfamiliarity and uncertainty surrounding sustainability issues can delay businesses from taking action.
Nearly 100 people in over 20 corporations, from SMEs to multinationals, were involved in this ARIES project which was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) and led by Alice Woodhead of Link Strategy.
The project sought to facilitate organisational change through making sense of sustainability in supply chain operations. The process included action learning, values clarification and critical systems thinking to enable businesses to respond more effectively to the problems of sustainability in their supply chains.
- Development and Construction
Bovis Lend Lease, Stockland and Landcom identified the sustainability of concrete as an important, persistent problem that no single company or partnership in a supply chain could fix. Multiple stakeholders, including developers, construction firms, suppliers and competitors, forged new links, exchanged information and nominated a range of actions.
As a result, an information sheet was developed to increase understanding and support the use of more sustainable concrete; and the Green Star rating system now anticipates addressing the sustainability of concrete.
- Food Manufacturing
Goodman Fielder and its transport suppliers explored the logistics and greenhouse gas impacts from the energy used in food distribution. They shared technical information and explored the issues, drivers and possible responses and impacts. This led to planning a collaborative pilot of new hybrid-truck technology.
The report from this project provides a systems-based learning approach for corporations to address their sustainability management and research needs with supply chain partners. The case studies (in the construction and food industries) also provide unique insights and ideas for corporations and government agencies who are considering how to respond to the emerging climate change challenges, risks and opportunities.
CEOs, managers, educators and staff within industry and government who seek to understand supply chain sustainability, and who wish to integrate sustainability into their vision, culture and practices will find this report essential reading.
You can download a copy of the full report (PDF 1.5 MB).
You can download a copy of the Sustainable Concrete case study (PDF <1 MB).
You can download a copy of the Food Distribution case study (PDF <1 MB).
Citation: Woodhead A, Thomas J and Mah J (2009) Sustainability in Supply Chains. Link Strategy and the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability for the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Canberra, Australia.
With funding from DEWHA, ARIES and Link Strategy have developed a set of practical guidelines to help businesses find cost effective ways to include more sustainable practices into everyday management and decisions that impact on the supply chain.
They also provide a set of criteria which can be used to make more holistic and systemic decisions about how to achieve even better sustainable management practices.
You can download a copy of the Guidelines (PDF 1.6 MB).
You can also order a printed copy from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citation: Woodhead A (2009) Guidelines for Sustainability in Supply Chains: Thinking Systems for Business Sustainability. Published by the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability.