After decades in which energy has been cheap and plentiful, and in which food has become progressively cheaper, the world is now confronted with the prospect of severe shortages in staple items that were previously taken for granted. The unpalatable but unavoidable fact is that consumption of scarce resources is occurring at a far greater rate than the planet can withstand.
The answer will not be to ask people to consume less, it will be to deliver the same or better customer experience using significantly fewer resources. While obvious improvements such as reducing waste and excess packaging will be important, the true competitive advantage will come from innovative thinking about new products, processes, sourcing models and services. Securing sustainable sources of key raw materials will also be critical to business continuity, cost and reputation management.
We help clients identify, understand and manage the risks posed by the ‘perfect storm’ of climate change, water scarcity and increasing pressures on natural resources. We then work to develop practical strategies to address them. Whether it’s a business wanting to investigate new sustainable sourcing models or a cross-industry group looking to set new standards in sustainable raw material sourcing, we have the experience and insight to add value to their sourcing strategy.
We can help clients integrate longer-term sustainability considerations into their strategic sourcing and procurement strategies, policies and processes, and build their people’s competencies in this area to help them maximise the opportunities. We can also help identify metrics for measuring, monitoring and reporting progress to internal and external stakeholders.
We were asked to review our client’s processes for sourcing fish - a key raw material for them and one where prices were rising and fishing quotas were reducing supplies. We undertook a full analysis of every stage of the supply chain, including market, value chain and competitive cost analysis, then suggested improvements that would not only save money, but maintain the company’s competitive position, as well as its ethical and environmental standards.