On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Peter Bolstorff, executive vice president at the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), joins Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves, to chat about sustainability as the new normal.
ASCM has long been a leader in training and certifying organizations to become leaders in supply chain management. Bolstorff and Cole chat about the role of sustainable supply chains and how businesses should be thinking about developing resilience in the future.
“Oftentimes, resilience is one of those just-in-case things, just like insurance. The idea of an immediate payback isn’t necessarily there,” Bolstorff said. But companies are starting to favor the idea of investing in resilience so that they don’t get into issues with supply chain disruptions.
Over 5,000 organizations have used ASCM’s SCOR model to set up supply chains. ASCM is working on an update to SCOR for 2030, including a sustainability function.
“Leaders have been thinking about this [sustainability] as a benefit or strategic advantage for 10 years,” Bolstorff said. “The interesting thing is nobody is going to be around to be held accountable” for the huge sustainability commitments CEOs and companies are making right now.
Cole said that the market changed quickly. In the span of nine months, a survey found that 25% fewer CEOs said they didn’t have a plan to get to net-zero emissions.
Supply chain, product development and sourcing teams are all involved in circular economy efforts, Bolstorff said. Now sustainability is becoming a way to do business.
ASCM has an enterprise standard for sustainability that is open to the public. It has 65 criteria across ethical, economic and ecological factors. Companies are starting to talk to their suppliers about the criteria.
The supply chain is “only as strong as its weakest link,” Cole said.
Cole and Bolstorff discussed how supply chains can’t become completely sustainable until every step along the way is making efforts toward that goal.
Bolstorff said that smaller companies may have an advantage when it comes to making their supply chains more sustainable because they generally have fewer entities involved and can make changes more quickly.
“If small businesses aren’t thinking sustainability is an important thing and it’s going to go away, so are you,” Bolstorff said.