The Prediction: Supply chain directors will find themselves unprepared for their sustainability tasks

supply chain directors

The ongoing droughts around the world are causing major supply chain problems. As a result, sustainability is gaining ever more prominence on companies’ strategic agendas. Supply Chain Media has asked a number of supply chain directors for their reactions to various sustainability-related predictions.

According to consultancy firm EY, only 41% of companies perform scenario analysis of climate risks and just 15% mention such risks in their financial statements. Supply chain directors will find themselves unprepared for their sustainability tasks.

Pieter-Jelle van Dijk, Director of Operations at Ricoh Europe:
“I think that more companies are conducting scenario analysis of supply chain risks including climate change, albeit in combination with other risks such as war, container prices, energy prices and parts shortages.”

Annemarie Goijarts, until recently Director of Supply Chain at Coop Supermarkets:
“I agree. Supply chain directors are still internally focused on the short term.”

Freek van Iersel, Supply Chain Director Electronics EMEA at Signify:
supply chain directors “These percentages prove that there is indeed still a lack of focus on sustainability. But in my view, the most important thing is to strengthen the focus on sustainability in the boardroom. Only then can supply chain directors make the right trade-off decisions and stimulate sustainability. Scenario analysis won’t lead to the desired results if it is based on a traditional strategy and associated KPIs.”

Jan van Rooden, VP Supply Chain at Hero:
“Rather than mentioning the risks in financial statements, it’s more important to take action now. It’s possible to take the right steps and replace fossil fuel with renewable energy without conducting in-depth analysis, which actually wastes a lot of valuable time. The biggest issue for us is whether the necessary infrastructure to get renewables to companies in the desired quantities will be ready in time.”

Rogier van Hasselt, Regional Operations Director EMEA at Tate & Lyle:
“I agree.”

Veronique Sonsma, Director of Operations at Intersteel Group:
“We are at the very beginning of the learning curve. Instead of measuring the percentage of companies that are reporting on this, it seems to make more sense to measure the progress of each company.”

Roland van Bussel, Operations Director at Moonen Packaging:
“I can’t really judge this. They are indeed often focused on achieving supply chain efficiency, which usually (unconsciously) also ensures the most sustainable solution possible. Effectiveness – getting things right first time – will become more important. However, there are still too few training courses that combine supply chain and sustainability, even though they can go hand in hand.”

Paul van der Leer, Supply Chain Director at Kwikfit Nederland:
supply chain directors “True, supply chain directors are generally ‘followers’ of a business strategy. But I believe these followers can make serious strides within their own environment of their own accord, and they can share these with their colleagues as examples of sustainability solutions. This potential leadership role is insufficiently recognized both by supply chain directors themselves and by the companies where they work.”

Remco van Haastrecht, VP of Operations at Solar
“I agree. It’s not yet top of mind for many of us, depending on the type of company or business. We do need to do this, though. We all share the responsibility to leave a better planet for future generations.”