Gartner Releases Supply Chain Top 25, Including These with Perfect 10 CSR Score

Sustainable sourcing image from Unilever

by | Jun 25, 2018

Unilever, Inditex, Cisco Systems, Colgate-Palmolive and Intel make up the top five companies with the strongest supply chains, as categorized by Gartner, Inc’s annual Supply Chain Top 25 list, which identifies supply chain leaders and highlights their best practices. The top five companies all achieved a perfect 10 score for corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Other companies in the top 10 supply chains that scored a perfect 10 for CSR include Nestle, PepsiCo, and H&M.

Rounding out the top 25 for those with perfect CSR scores:

  • 3M
  • Schneider Electric
  • HP
  • Novo Nordisk
  • Diageo
  • BASF
  • BMW

However, warns IndustryWeek, Gartner’s CSR score doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality of global supply chain management. “[S]ometimes companies talk a great game about their sustainability, environmental and human rights efforts, but just because a company gets a perfect score of 10 from Gartner doesn’t mean that company isn’t also under fire from various NGOs for their less-than-perfect real-world business practices.”

Still, CSR is rapidly becoming a key market differentiator for businesses as more consumers look to purchase products from companies that act responsibly. Companies are placing a significant focus on incorporating sustainability into their supply chains.

HP, number 14 on Gartner’s list (also with a perfect 10 for CSR) has said that sustainable impact was a key differentiator for more than $700 million in new business last year. Creating a more efficient, circular, low-carbon economy is one of HP’s major goals, and the company reported that its suppliers have avoided 1.05 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2017.

“Far from perceiving sustainability as a costly inconvenience, supply chain leaders are using it to their advantage,” says Miguel Cossio, principal research analyst at Gartner. “[Sustainability] provides new opportunities to optimize costs and reduce waste.”

But most companies claim cost and reputation aren’t the only considerations when it comes to supply chain sustainability. Earlier this year, Gartner’s 2017 Future of Supply Chain Survey showed that 82% of respondents said their organization’s intention to invest in ethical sourcing is because “it’s the right thing to do.”


But How Do We…?

Gartner suggests that sustainability objectives should be incorporated into the company’s overall sourcing strategy, balancing sustainability performance metrics with other financial objectives. “This will require sourcing leaders to educate internal team members on the importance of CSR for the organization,” says Cossio.

When internal leaders have a credible story to articulate to suppliers why CSR is now a key factor in sourcing decisions, suppliers are more likely to commit to CSR to demonstrate their ability take on a long-term vision, “which is an essential component of building strategic relationships,” says Cossio.

Other ways to improve CSR within supply chains is to look at what competitors are doing in terms of responsible sourcing, and to utilize data, solutions and KPIs from industry associations and NGOs.

Additionally, Cassio says, consider guidance on sustainable sourcing from ISO 20400, the first international standard for sustainable procurement.


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