Supply Chain Sustainability

Business Case

An overview of the business case for Supply Chain Sustainability and how the Global Compact is supporting business efforts.


Inspire participants’ organizational learning, and support companies to develop and implement corporate sustainability strategies, operations and management practices in line with the Global Compact Ten Principles. Read more about Learning.

Learning Activities

  • Convene workshops/webinars for companies to raise awareness of supply chain sustainability issues and related Global Compact materials as well as present how companies can advance their sustainability practices throughout their supply chain
  • Translate key resources developed by the Global Compact and its partners into local languages (e.g. Practical Guide for Continuous Improvement), and develop locally relevant materials, click here to view Global Compact supply chain sustainability resources
  • Host workshops for non-Global Compact participants (in particular SMEs) - who typically supply to MNEs - on how to meet increasing MNE expectations

Learning Benefits

  • Increased awareness of the Global Compact and its work among SMEs, suppliers and other stakeholders
  • Increased visibility of Local Network among companies and other stakeholders interested in sustainable supply chain management

Learning Local Examples

  • Participants from government, the UN and leading US-based companies attended a symposium hosted by the Global Compact Network USA entitled “Sustainability and the Total Value Chain.” The event included roundtable and panel discussions, along with individual presentations from leading experts in the field of supply chain management. The seminar examined the environmental, economic and social impacts at all steps of the supply chain – from raw material sourcing to direct manufacturing, distribution and consumer usage.

Policy Dialogue

Aim to bring businesses and other stakeholders together to exchange best practices, identify new and emerging issues; promote multi-stakeholder trust and interaction; and support advocacy to policymakers. Read more about Policy Dialogue.

Policy Dialogue Activities

  • Organize and facilitate events where companies can engage with governments, unions, and other key stakeholders around key supply chain challenges that are material to the local business community
  • Convene meetings where companies and SMEs can discuss challenges and lessons learned to implement sustainable supply chain practices as well as opportunities to strengthen supply chain sustainability in partnership with civil society, government ministries and/or the United Nations

Policy Dialogue Benefits

  • Identification of recommendations from business to policymakers on actions that could help increase the scale and impact of sustainable supply chain management
  • Greater awareness and uptake of responsible and sustainable supply chain management within the LN as a result of dialogue and exchange of best practices
  • Evidence of Local Network convening power on supply chain management issues

Policy Dialogue Local Examples

  • In response to new developments of key markets introducing regulatory changes for forestry and paper products, Global Compact Network Malaysia and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council collaborated on the “Certification Workshop 2013 on Responsible Procurement and Purchasing of Paper and Other Forestry Products.” Presentations at the event provided an overview of the current status of timber certifications in Malaysia, the impact of new certification systems on multinational companies’ sourcing and procurement policies, and how to strengthen environmental protection while supporting local industries. Participants learned how to adapt and comply with the changing policies and how to bring legally-verified and/ or certified sustainable paper and other timber products to market. The session was targeted towards procurement and sustainability directors.

Collective Action & Partnerships

Through partnerships, private and public actors can combine their resources, skills and expertise to enhance results and impact. With collective action multiple companies join forces to engage in identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions to systematic challenges. Read more about Collective Action.

Collective Action Activities

  • In collaboration with partner organizations, convene or facilitate a peer or industry discussion on supply chain management to gain a common understanding and potentially develop a forward-looking, actionable agenda
  • Launch and operationalize initiatives for national champion companies that focus on specific supply chain issues

Collective Action Benefits

  • Increased cooperation of champion companies on country specific recommendations and best practices related to supply chain management
  • Increased awareness among companies on specific actions they can take independently and with other stakeholders to strengthen a sustainable value chain

Collective Action Local Examples

  • Global Compact Network Japan’s Supply Chain Working Group published a proposal entitled “Building the Sustainable World: A Vision of Desirable CSR Activity in the Supply Chain.” The document presents an organized summary of the Working Group’s discussions from 2008 to 2011 and focuses on three critical processes in sustainable supply chain initiatives: supplier briefings, self-assessment questionnaires, and audits. Created on a foundation of practical experience and a diversity of perspectives, this proposal was designed to be a useful tool for parties engaged in corporate supply chain responsibility measures, as well as for those who intend to improve existing measures.
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