CSR – The Supply Chain Essentials

A recent Gartner report highlighted the top 25 companies with the strongest supply chains. What did the top five of these have in common?
The answer: perfect CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) scores.

CSR helps companies to become socially accountable by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits. Once seen as a nice-to-have element of a company, it is now becoming business critical.

Why practice CSR?
A CSR programme is essential for a competitive edge – and by demonstrating their CSR credentials, companies can strengthen relationships across the supply chain. A responsible outlook can also help to improve the quality of products, meet the expectations and demands of customers, and reduce exposure to damaging and costly risks – as attested to by this EcoVadis report.

Furthermore, investors and creditors are likely to include risk profile and CSR activities within the assessments of any company that they compile and review. In these cases standards and related statements of compliance across supply chain management are also likely to be under scrutiny.

How can we align CSR with our strategy?
The investment in auditing CSR activities in the short-term, is easily outweighed by long-term risks resulting from complacency.

Companies should collaborate and cooperate with suppliers to ensure they have CSR strategies in place. High-risk suppliers should be identified, especially if they are from environmentally or ethically controversial industries, or from countries where human rights and environmental responsibilities are not well supported.

How do competitive organisations manage CSR within their strategies? Internally, how are employees educated as to the importance of CSR? and how does that align to company values?

If we are able to explain our rationale and demonstrate our commitment to CSR, our supply chain is far more likely to respond to our requirements in order to meet our long-term goals.

Maximise prospectus and business propositions
Under-estimating the importance of social conscience in today’s global societies, is a dangerous oversight. Aligning CSR with strategy, we are not only able to demonstrate our social responsibility through actions, but we will also avoid potentially expensive and reputation damaging risk, both for us and our customers, ultimately making us more competitive as well as presenting a more attractive business proposition.

SK Euroca can assist to identify CSR gaps. With over 30 years combined experience driving relationship and commercial efficiency through various types of negotiation, via our relationship optimisation or transition modelling practices.

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