Bloomberg New Economy Solutions: Enable Sustainable Supply Chains

Solution Sessions are part of year-round programming by Bloomberg New Economy designed to continue the conversations held at the forum. These small active working sessions feature influential decision makers from the private and public sectors to explore specific and tangible opportunities for action.

Bloomberg New Economy Solutions held a working session on July 22nd in London to connect key private sector leaders to discuss how to improve supplier accountability and enable private sector companies to drive transformation in supply chain sustainability. This was a continuation of the work conducted on-site during the Sustainable Supply Chains workshop at the 2018 Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.

This session was hosted in collaboration with HSBC and facilitated by Dickon Pinner and Ken Somers; partners from McKinsey & Company. The conversations focused on the importance for companies to find successful strategies to reduce natural and social costs of their products and services. While some companies have frameworks and instruments for identifying sustainable improvements, there are often barriers preventing companies to drive transformation in the supply chain.

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Participants explored how to overcome these challenges:

  • Building the right internal processes and organization to promote sustainability (e.g., team, organizational structure, internal measurement and tracking systems)
  • Setting supply chain targets (overall and product-level, and linking targets to broader sustainability goals
  • Collaborating across different buyers (e.g., launching collective requests to shared suppliers, sharing education and insights)
  • Lack of supplier knowledge/training to implement sustainability improvements
  • Need for clear and manageable rules (e.g., effective supplier codes of conduct)
  • Technology for supplier tracking and oversight (e.g., software to collect data on supplier practices, digital tools for suppliers)

Attendees were encouraged to reflect on their company’s sustainability challenges, successes and failures in approach, transformative 1-3 year sustainable supply chain plans, and areas to accelerate. This session also allowed private sector companies to consider greater options and opportunities to meaningfully progress both individually and collectively.

The next Solution Session will be held on August 6th in San Francisco on Applying AI Responsibly.

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