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P2.3: Engaging Suppliers


Companies will ensure that at least 75% of the company’s tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers and 50% of tier 3 suppliers meet the company’s standards for sustainability performance.

Integrating sustainability into procurement and sourcing decisions is an effective tool for putting some “muscle” behind supplier codes of conduct. But in addition to the procurement “stick,” companies should also be using “carrots” such as dialogue and collaborative training and capacity building programs. Companies that pursue these steps are better positioned to improve their overall sustainability performance and strengthen their long-term supplier relationships.

Digging into Sustainable Agriculture

The Food & Beverage industry is grappling with key challenges related to sustainable agriculture sourcing. In Gaining Ground, Ceres and Sustainalytics further examine how companies in this sector are addressing the impacts of their agricultural supply chains.  Read more about the findings and recommendations.

For this expectation companies were evaluated for their efforts to engage suppliers on issues of environmental and social sustainability performance.

Key Findings

  • Thirty-three percent (205 companies) engage suppliers on sustainability performance issues, up from 27 percent in 2012.
  • The 14 percent (83 companies) in Tiers 1 and 2 have formal sustainable supply chain management programs, up from 9 percent in 2012. For example, Ford Motor Company requires its first tier suppliers to drive the company’s environmental and social expectations down its supply chain. Ford gathers information on supplier climate risks and GHG emissions and works with suppliers to establish GHG emissions reduction and energy efficiency targets.

To read the full analysis, key findings and sector insights from Gaining Ground, click here.


Interactive Data

Click on a performance tier below to view more information about how companies are performing.

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[23] Companies in Mediocre in 2014