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New Report Reveals Obstacles and Opportunities for Sustainable Supply Chains

Thursday 5 June 2014: Supply chain management is one of the biggest obstacles to more sustainable business practices, a new report has found. The Sustainability and Supply Chain Divide: Insights into the gaps, challenges and opportunities for Australian companies has been launched today by Sustainability at Work, with the support of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. According to lead author of the report, Tania Crosbie, sustainability managers across the breadth of the country face similar challenges when looking to improve the sustainability of their supply chains – and can seize similar opportunities. “Our research has revealed that a number of overriding factors prevent sustainability managers and their supply chains from working more closely,” Ms Crosbie says. “These factors include a lack of leadership, divergent language around sustainability, disconnected procurement policies and traditional contractual models. “We also found many sustainability managers were hesitant to engage with their supply chain until their own shop was in order,” Ms Crosbie adds The study also unmasked some ‘best practice’ behaviours, including employing sustainable supply chain managers, auditing supply chains thoroughly, enforcing sustainable procurement guidelines at tender time and collaborating with the supply chain for global better outcomes. “Collaboration was a recurrent theme from those interviewed. Again and again, we were told that bringing together key – or high risk – suppliers to create a shared vision leads to better outcomes for all organisations along the supply chain,” Ms Crosbie, explains. “The underlying message from the report is unequivocal. Companies are beginning to understand their responsibility to leave a sustainable legacy for future generations. Suppliers, who don’t work with their partners, customers and the community to achieve more sustainable outcomes run the risk of operating an ever-shrinking market.” Click here to download your free copy About the report Sustainability at Work undertook 28 in-depth interviews with both sustainability specialists and supply chain managers from across 17 industries based in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Interviews were conducted by telephone between January and March 2014. Tania Crosbie, a Member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) and Director of Sustainability at Work, conducted the interviews. Interview durations ranged from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. About Sustainability at Work Sustainability at Work is a marketing, communications and training consultancy, focused on engaging people to deliver sustainable outcomes for their organisations, customers and stakeholders. Directors Tania Crosbie and Melissa Houghton are experienced professionals with more than 25 years in marketing, communications and sustainability. Visit


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