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Manage ever increasing risks and complexity in the sustainability of your supply chain
What is sustainability and what value does the CIPS Sustainability Index add in this area?

In a Business environment a sustainable business is typically expressed as an enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy. Many organisations group their sustainability activities together under a Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. The CIPS Sustainabilty Index uses the academic definition of social, economic and environmental criteria to underpin its methodology and approach. A key element in being recognised as a sustainable business is to understand the sustainability credentials of your supply base. This is both from a pure sustainability standpoint, i.e. wanting to use suppliers where possible who have the same values, but also as part of business risk strategy.

The ‘three pillars’ of sustainability are key to the CIPS Sustainability Index approach:

  • The Economic Pillar

    More than ever before organisations are reviewing and minimising risk of suppliers being affected by the current economic climate. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly important to demonstrate stable economic credentials, which is where the CIPS Sustainability Index adds significant value. Economic sustainability typically embraces the key areas of Corporate Governance, Financial Robustness, Innovation Capacity along with Business Integrity and Ethics. Again suppliers answer a series of questions, determined by organisation size and business sector that will lead to an assessment of their performance in all of the above areas.

  • The Environmental Pillar

    Environmental sustainability has often been at the forefront of an organisations ‘Sustainable’ thinking. This has been spurned on by the debate on climate change, legislative requirements, governmental targets along with investment support, customer and stakeholder pressure and in many cases a real business case to do something in this area. Environmental Sustainability typically embraces the key areas of Environmental Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Energy Consumption, Waste Management, Water Management, Sustainable Sourcing and Materials and Resource Utilisation. Again suppliers answer a series of questions, determined by organisation size and business sector that will lead to an assessment of their performance in all of the above areas.