Exponential. Collaborative. Spark. Celebrate. Home. Sustain 2017 Inspires Sustainable Supply Chain Leadership

May 25, 2017 David McClintock

For our 10 years anniversary, EcoVadis received the best gift ever: Hundreds of professionals in sustainable procurement, CSR and supply chain came together in Paris to share, network, learn and present at EcoVadis Sustain 2017, and our Rock-In-A Free World celebration in Paris this month. Here are a few highlights for inspiration:

Time to get Exponential!

John Elkington set the pace, and challenged all of us to breakthrough from incremental gains, and boldly seek Exponential transformation of our businesses and activities. The exponential future referenced in Paul Hawken’s Drawdown, and embodied in the UN SDGs won’t be achieved with 10%, 25% or even 50% increments; We must seek 10X leaps, tapping the explosion of innovation in technology, business models and our will to bring about this change.

One example came in the CPO panel discussion where PSA-Peugeot-Citroen described how they set specific sub-score targets for suppliers on “Sustainable Supply Chain” theme 4 of the EcoVadis rating, thus leveraging their entire Tier 1 to influence Tier 2. This strategy was echoed in the Johnson & Johnson / Tessy Plastics workshop which detailed their buyer-supplier collaboration to drive sustainability to deeper tiers of the supply chain.



Throughout the two days the theme of collaboration was present. Sector initiatives TfS and Railsponsible have grown to 19 members and 7 members respectively, and are radically accelerating transparency by making it easy for suppliers to share with ~10x the number of clients in one click. Also echoed in the breakout presentation from Clariant (a TfS member), on average 70% of the suppliers in these initiatives improve their score upon re-evaluation.

The previous evening at Rock-In-A-Free-World, Ron Lewis of Coca-Cola European Partners took home a Sustainability Leadership Award: Winning the category “Best Supplier Engagement”, CCEP live up to their name and truly partner with suppliers on programs such as the Carbon Challenge to drive positive impacts. (More on the awards below.)

Our event sponsors were on site to bring their latest updates, AsiaInspection who perform on-site audits, Pool4Tool the intelligent procurement platform, and Tradeshift the open platform for connecting buyers and suppliers.

Light the Spark that Ignites Progress

A spark of an idea can light a team or company’s journey to a bold goal, for example to re-think a business or metric or engagement strategy. At Unilever, they have sparked their employees imagination with goals to decouple growth from environmental footprint and to improve the lives of 5.5 million people. At PSA-Peugeot-Citroen they are “in 100%”: They require 100% of tender proposals to have a CSR Scorecard, and are shifting goals from ‘percent of spend’ coverage, toward driving supplier improvements in 2017.  Similarly of the 2020 goals Ferrero has set for its sourcing, five are “100%” – as in sustainably sourced. In addition, they emphasize ‘bottom-up’ and peer-to-peer in their internal engagement programs.

If you’re new to sustainable procurement, or just want to know where your program stands, BSR “Supply Chain Leadership Ladder” self assessment will guide you.

Celebrate progress

Rock In A Free World was our way of celebrating our 10 year anniversary by celebrating our customers. EcoVadis worked closely with Justin Dillon, CEO of Made In A Free World to host this event to recognize who are working together in their supply chains to end slavery and create a sustainable world. It was also the debut of EcoVadis Sustainability and Sustainable Procurement Leadership awards, where we recognized three Buyer organizations Coca-Cola European Partners, SNCF and Michelin, as well as 14 awards for evaluated companies for their top scores in their region or sector. 

See the complete list of winners here.

Watch the video:


Sometimes you have to step way back — all the way out of the atmosphere into space as Alex Mejia of UNITAR suggested in his presentation — to see the full scope of challenges as big as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and what’s at stake: planet Earth, our collective home. Astronauts have universally reported that that no matter where you live (or what supply chain you work in), this realization will help us save the planet, one supply chain at a time.

This was our best Sustain ever. To our customers and partners: A thousand thanks to all of you who presented and participated at Sustain; YOU are what makes this event so special and valuable. Contact us now to present in 2018!

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