Benchmarking Insights: Supply Chain Sustainability .

Corporate social responsibilityCSR PoliciesSupplier Audits

In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites Acquisti & Sostenibilità's Luca Guzzabocca to share some insights from recent benchmarking research into the sustainability supply chain performance of large businesses. 


The Sustainable Supply Chain Review by Acquisti & Sostenibilità has been publishing since 2008 with the aim to analyse, measure and evaluate the efforts of worldwide enterprises in terms of sustainable and responsible supply chains regardless of their size, economic sector and geographical footprint.


The review is a key benchmarking reference for all the enterprises which would start, review, develop and improve their initiatives and projects as far as sustainability supply chains and suppliers co-operation concerned. The 2014 edition, the seventh rolling edition since 2008, represents a significant step forward.

33 are the evaluation factors adopted, in order to accurately assess the various aspects which we use to assign a rating to the "maturity" level of the supply chain sustainability, classifying them into four categories of decreasing importance: Fundamental (F), Qualifying (A), Procedural (P) and Implementing (I).


In this latest iteration, instead of the usual scope including the Italy-based enterprises (almost 80), we enlarged the scope to international enterprises reaching the final number of 430 publishing the 2013 Sustainability report, of which 312 in Europe, 63 in North America, 29 in Asia, 19 in Africa, 5 in Oceania and 2 in South America.

More than 30 economic sectors and 40 countries have been involved in the study.

Here are some key findings:

  • 91.7% of companies involved in the study have a code of conduct and/or and ethical overall, only 75 out of 430 companies have a specific and very detailed document about the relationship with suppliers.

  • 5% of companies have one or more sustainable policies concerning the purchasing process and supply chain, while 65.7% have defined their efforts across the supply chain. 66% define the critical factors of sustainability across the supply chain related to their own business area.

  • 44% have engagement programs and training for the employees on subjects such as sustainability – in particular as supply chain. Unfortunately only 15% of companies have internal human resources dedicated to the management of the sustainability across the supply chain (only 10 companies out of 430 have full-time resources).
  • 8% realize projects and initiatives aiming to optimize and reduce the workforce's mobility and the logistics with a perspective of social and environmental sustainability. The cost reduction represents a fundamental leverage that moves all the actions in this area; in fact the remote work, packaging systems and transportation represent important aspects on which its possible to obtain significant economic saving.
  • Large enterprises have the highest average of medium ones, which have a better average score in comparison with small enterprises with a wider gap.
  • The best evaluation for this year goes to Deutsche Telekom, telecommunication sector.
  • The first 20 best evaluations are those of multinational companies that belong mainly to the following sectors: telecommunications, food & beverage, automotive, electronics, textile and clothing and retail.

The abstract of SSCR2014 is available here.


Luca Guzzabocca is co-founder and chairman of Acquisti & Sostenibilità. He is former director of procurement, logistics, HSE, security management at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Luca Guzzabocca
Posted by Luca Guzzabocca

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