The state of supply chain sustainability in 2022

Adapting to rapid change

Rob Barrett

Rob Barrett

Principal, Advisory/Supply Chain Leader, KPMG US

+1 480-459-3535

Supply Chains have had to continually weather increased volatility globally. The pandemic has introduced significant disruptions to supply chains around the world. Instead of the disruptions distracting supply chain leaders away from sustainability initiatives, it has served as “air cover” for supply chain sustainability initiatives, according to an Executive interviewed for the report. The new State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2022 report provides emerging evidence that firms have used this increased scrutiny on supply chains to shore up and accelerate supply chain sustainability efforts, as a risk management measure and to strengthen their supply chain resilience.

Designed by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and co-sponsored by KPMG, the study draws on a global survey of 3,300 supply chain professionals, along with executive interviews, to assess SCS pressures, priorities, and practices over the last year. The third annual study of its kind, this research is well positioned to explore how global SCS issues change over time, and echoes many of the sustainability insights KPMG has gathered from years of client interactions.

We see our clients moving toward practices that will improve transparency—notably supply chain mapping and codes of conduct. There is a strong desire to contribute to ESG values, and it goes beyond technology. We believe you have to incentivize the entire supply chain ecosystem to be transparent and open.
Rob Barrett, Principal, US Supply Chain Advisory, KPMG LLP

Reinforcing what we have seen with our clients, the study brings to life the staircase of supply chain sustainability initiatives, the foundation of which is the supplier audits, supply chain mapping and code of conduct. As companies move up the staircase of supply chain sustainability, standards or certifications, information technologies, and supplier collaboration become more common practice. The study provides a great look at what peers are doing, and what initiatives could be evaluated next as a firm progresses along their supply chain sustainability journey. 

The study also identified that firms’ commitment to climate change increased since last year. Commitment to social issues like human rights protection, supplier diversity equity and inclusions, fair pay and fair trade continued to stay high. Biodiversity conservation and supply circularity continue to see large increases in focus as compared to the first year. However, it was also noted that the level of investment does not quite match the level of importance placed on various supply chain sustainability goals yet. Engagement in sustainability matters, however, has increased, with more respondents identifying themselves as decision makers or directly involved in sustainability matters, implying that awareness of sustainability is spreading across the firms.

This is an essential read for anyone in supply chain today. Supply chains worldwide are uniquely positioned to be an engine to impact our society positively. The choice of who we choose to do business with, where we do business, and what and how we deliver is essentially in the supply chain’s control. Consumers and businesses alike need-and, in fact, demand-that products we source and deliver meet their environmental and social expectations. You will find in the State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2022 a most important, comprehensive global study that supports your ability to benchmark your company and SCS actions.
Mark Baxa, President and CEO, CSCMP

For further insights on what to pursue as you continue on your supply chain sustainability journey, please read the State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2022 report.