Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sustainable supply chains

Last week we started to discuss "Outcome Driven Supply Chains" and how no company can master all 6 components, but rather be a compilation of a few.

In a recent article in the Guardian, "Sustainable supply chains: why placing ethics over profits pays off" author Tom Seal notes companies that have seen what happens when cheapest price is not the focus from suppliers.

One such company listed was Lush, a make up and skin care company that you can see their business is different at first glance.  Their homepage barely list their products, but rather showcases anti-bullying campaigns, support for gay rights, and inspiring stories.  I'll admit it, I was sucked in .....and made a purchase. : )   As a consumer its important to me that my purchase has meaning, and we see a company has morals that they abide by, we want to support those products, knowing where they came from.

The article puts the businesses in the driver seat as needing to know where their supply comes from and not just looking at price tags.  Using marketing techniques to claim that your company does the right thing, but not knowing if your suppliers do only tells part of the story--according to Seal.


Although I am sure most consumers want the buying power to know they are buying from a "good"company, it does need to come at a rate that is convenient for the buyer. "Consumers often want greens as an added value to what they are buying, not as a substitute for something else"  I agree this is true, but the more consumers continue to support companies with "sustainable" supply chains and the more buyers demand ethical practices from their suppliers, the more we can shift this demand to more products.

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