Supply Chain Leaders Champion People and Planet

Gartner 30 Apr 2021 05:15

I recently had the privilege of moderating a virtual Leaders in Action (LIA) event on the theme of running purpose-driven supply chains, co-hosted by Unilever CSCO Marc Engel.

Twenty-five COOs and CSCOs of large global companies joined this interactive event. They shared perspectives and heard from peers on how our supply chains can improve the health of the planet, support people’s health and well-being, and contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world.

Held a week before Earth Day, it was followed by a flurry of corporate announcements sharing ambitious goals for resource stewardship, emissions reduction and ethical sourcing. There are too many to list, but one example is from Diageo. Ewan Andrew, president, global supply and procurement and chief sustainability officer, shared Diageo’s progressive 2030 goals for carbon, water, sustainable packaging and DEI in a recent Gartner webinar.

The Race to Zero

Marc opened our Leaders in Action session by describing the purpose-driven journey that Unilever has taken over the last decade. It started with the Sustainable Living Plan, which aimed to halve Unilever’s environmental impact while simultaneously growing its various businesses — “soups and soaps” as Marc describes them. Its current purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace, underpinned by three principles: people with purpose thrive, brands with purpose grow and companies with purpose last.

It was inspiring to hear the level of conversation and passion for these topics across the supply chain community. We’re very much looking forward to the next gathering of this esteemed group, in May, to explore the opportunistic intersection between product lifecycle management and supply chain.

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