Supply Chain Chiefs: Sustainability Isn’t Key

by | Jan 11, 2011

Chief supply chain officers do not see sustainability as a key challenge in 2010/2011, according to a survey by research firm eyefortransport (EFT).

In the survey, supply chain officers identified the “biggest business challenges driving their supply chain agenda” as variability and forecasting (42 percent), cost containment and reduction (39 percent), and supply chain visibility (35 percent).

Sustainability strategies and practices only ranked 11th in the list of concerns, with just over 15 percent.

Similarly, a second EFT survey found that logistics service users ranked sustainability only 15th in importance out of 24 challenges they face, behind such factors as the economy, cost control and fuel price fluctuations.

Respondents from third-party logistics services, however, ranked sustainability sixth, with the economy, cost control and demand forecasting coming tops.

Those responding to the second survey comprised logistics service providers (68 percent), logistics users (24 percent), other transportation providers (6 percent) and others (2 percent).

Overall they rated their companies’ environmental performance more highly than respondents in the same survey the year before. In both years about 90 percent rated their performance as satisfactory or good. But while in 2009, about 70 percent chose “satisfactory” and 20 percent chose “good”, in 2010 the figures were about 45 percent each.

In both of the surveys out this week, at least 35 percent of respondents represented companies whose annual revenues exceed $1 billion, and at least 68 percent in both surveys represent companies with sales over $50 million.

An eyefortransport survey last year found that improving customer relations was the biggest driver of sustainability initiatives among shippers, third-party logistics companies and supply chain providers.

Another eyefortransport report found that improving efficiency is the most important motivating factor for shippers when deciding to upgrade or purchase supply chain technology.

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