Greenwashing: How collaboration with suppliers drives transparency

Post Date
10 May 2024
Author
Bolu Iyiola
Read Time
3 minutes
  • ESG advisory

The demand for sustainability and ethical practices has never been higher. Consumers are increasingly shifting their spending towards products with ESG-related claims[1]. From food to fashion, retail to technology, consumers are scrutinising businesses more closely than ever, seeking transparency and authenticity in sustainability claims. The fight against greenwashing demands a collaborative approach as businesses continue to try to maintain transparency and authenticity in their sustainability claims. This article highlights the importance of the role of the supply chain in combating greenwashing.

As highlighted in SLR’s 2024 Actions for Business report,[2] the impact of a product through its entire life cycle must be considered when making claims. Getting accurate and comprehensive data across the supply chain to substantiate the claims can be a herculean task for businesses. This is where collaborating with suppliers becomes instrumental so that the pitfalls associated with greenwashing can be avoided. Through such active dialogue, businesses can gain access to critical data points that will enable them to accurately assess the environmental (and social) impact of their products and verify the authenticity of their sustainability claims. So how can this be achieved?

Suppliers have valuable information about the materials, manufacturing processes, and supply chain logistics associated with the products provided. This data is essential for businesses to accurately assess and report on the environmental impact of their products and validate the sustainability claims they make to consumers.

Businesses can leverage platforms such as EcoVadis[3] and Sedex[4] to drive transparency across supply chains. EcoVadis, a leading provider of sustainability ratings for global supply chains, offers a comprehensive assessment framework that evaluates suppliers' environmental, social, and ethical performance. By leveraging EcoVadis' platform, businesses can assess their suppliers' sustainability credentials, identify improvement areas, and drive positive change throughout their supply chains.

Similarly, Sedex provides analytics-driven insights into supply chain integrity, enabling businesses to monitor and manage ethical and responsible practices among their suppliers. Using Sedex's platform, businesses can track key performance indicators, identify potential risks, and collaborate with suppliers to address labour standards, health and safety, and environmental compliance issues.

In essence, collaborating with suppliers is an essential component of the holistic approach to combatting greenwashing. Through this, suppliers can share critical data and drive transparency across supply chains. Businesses will be able to uphold integrity in their sustainability claims, build trust with consumers, and contribute to meaningful progress towards a more sustainable future.

If you need support in understanding how to drive transparency across your supply chains, please do get in touch.


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References

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/consumers-care-about-sustainability-and-back-it-up-with-their-wallets

[2] SLR's 'Actions for Business Report 2024'

[3] https://ecovadis.com

[4] https://www.sedex.com

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