The State of Supply Chain Sustainability Report, now in its fourth year, was recently released at CSCMP's annual EDGE Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition in Kissimmee, Florida on October 2, 2023.
The annual report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) examines how supply chain sustainability practices have evolved over a four-year period, how they are being implemented globally, and what that means for professionals, enterprises, industries, and the planet. This year’s report illustrates an increasing pressure on firms to make their supply chains more sustainable.
The report is founded on a large-scale international survey of supply chain professionals, with over 2,300 responses and executive interviews gathered in 2023. To attain the broadest audience of practitioners and input from various sectors, the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), a leading, global, professional association, collaborated on data collection. For the first time this year, the survey component of data collection was offered in four languages: English, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. This year’s report is sponsored by Avetta, C.H. Robinson, and Isometric Technologies.
“With four years of global observations and thousands of survey responses, we are in a unique position to see where progress has been made,” said David Correll, MIT CTL research scientist and lead investigator on the study. “We have found that topics within the realm of supply chain sustainability are complex; some trends have changed over four years while others remain consistent. Indeed, the supply chain sustainability journey is a long one, and it contains multitudes.”
“The value of this report to supply chain executives and practitioners alike cannot be overstated,” said Mark Baxa, president and CEO of CSCMP. “Worldwide, the findings and supporting commentary found in this report continue to demonstrate the criticality of the supply chain ‘doing the right things right’ for society.”
Following several years of turbulence around the world, including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply chain sustainability efforts have proved resilient to certain types of crises but vulnerable to others. And for the fourth straight year, investors continued to have an outsized and growing role in putting pressure on firms to make their supply chains more sustainable.
The 2023 report takes a closer look at firms’ net-zero goals. Only about one-third of respondents’ firms had net-zero goals in place, and of those that did, many appeared unprepared to meet them. Furthermore, net-zero carbon emissions goals appear to be clustered in wealthier countries, giving rise to concern about whether the global ambitions of net-zero goals can be achieved with only localized adoption.
Over four years, pressure on supply chain professionals to improve their firms’ supply chain sustainability has grown every year across every measure the study tracks. And every year, the path toward achieving those goals appears to cross supply chains. This year shows that collaboration across supply chains appears to be especially important as firms struggle to measure and to reduce their Scope 3 emissions.