Partnering With Sustainable Suppliers Improves Supply Chain Resiliency


Proper supply chain management is more than just putting out a fire here and there. A strong supply chain management approach is proven through its ability to ensure that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. It must also run ethically, observing the best environmental and social sustainability practices possible. To achieve this, there are a lot of moving pieces to be monitored, implemented, or otherwise tinkered with in some way. Full management of the supply chain is a full-time job in itself.

Sure, a supply chain management plan can, and usually does, get rather complex. But at its core, there is one piece of the puzzle that is a major game-changer; partnerships.

Solid partnerships are the backbone of every single industry and every business working within those industries. We say that partnerships are the backbone of business because without partnerships there would be no way to scale a business efficiently. You likely rely on other companies for the pallets you use in your warehouses, the software companies whose automation platforms you leverage, and right down to the company that supplies you with bulk bubble wrap for all your packaging needs. Without these partnerships, you would be hard-pressed to operate at the level at which you currently do.

And if those materials and goods are not being sourced or manufactured in an ethically sustainable manner, your suppliers won't be able to keep up for much longer, leaving you at a moral and financial crossroads of sorts.

It is 2021, and the hot topic of the supply chain industry is sustainability as consumers increasingly seek out businesses that align with their own moral views. Consumers are highly-aware of which businesses are making what moves, now more than ever.

So in this blog post, we are going to be exploring the reasons why building partnerships with sustainable suppliers is going to be critical over the following years.


A New Emphasis On Sustainability

There is a rather massive emphasis being put on the topic of sustainability right now and for good reason. The supply chain industry has been directly impacted by every single large shift during the last two years. So far it has been resilient, but there have been some things such as port congestions that have definitely presented new challenges. And while things like port congestion, for instance, aren't specifically a sustainability issue, some of the factors that helped lead to it most certainly are.

So it comes as no surprise that these days we are seeing a constant push not merely for supply chain management, but for innovation. Most notably, innovation in regard to sustainability measures as the lack of resiliency harkens to a potential issue in regard to sustainability efforts, yes, the two are more linked than most may realize. 


Why Partnerships With Sustainable Suppliers Are Important

Creating strong and diverse partnerships can provide valuable insight into the entire supply chain process, from forecasting through the actual delivery of goods. Furthermore, we are able to have a birds-eye view of where and how materials are sourced as well as what our partners' labor force looks like, how it is treated, and the ethics by which they stand.

With this intimate knowledge of how your suppliers manage themselves, it makes it easier for you to work alongside them as you are both on the same page and know what the other expects or requires.

Again, sustainability greatly affects resiliency and vice versa. If your suppliers are not producing goods and/or materials in an environmentally or socially sustainable way, you may find yourself scrambling to keep your business above water during large-scale industry disruptions, as your resiliency is not assured.


What It Looks Like To Build Partnerships With Sustainable Suppliers

As we have already covered, one of the most solid strategies for improving sustainability and building more resilience in your supply chain is to focus on building relationships with companies that are producing and supplying goods in a sustainable way. 

Generally speaking, when you are building a rapport with businesses that are already focused on sustainability efforts, they are likely partnering up with others who share the same mission and ethics. This creates a snowball effect that moves us toward a bigger network of partners we can rely on and in turn, a stronger supply chain that is bolstered by the consumers who align with the companies views and practices.


Final Thoughts About Sustainability and Consumers

It’s important to note that even modest partnerships can lead to rapid improvements to the supply chain through environmental and social awareness. Your consumers are choosing between competitors every day and their voice is ultimately what directs all business across almost every commercial industry. Even small changes, such as announcing a new partnership with a business that aligns with your customer's personal values' will go quite a long way.