The poll of 8,500 companies in 34 countries shows that those businesses making environmentally sustainable changes to their supply chains are motivated primarily by cost efficiencies (84%) and improved revenues (84%). Furthermore, one in five (20%) claim that they have taken greater control of their supply chains over the past two years.

“As businesses explore and invest in ways to stay competitive for the future, the most forward thinking are already taking action,” said HSBC’s global commercial banking head of client coverage Bryan Pascoe. “Transitioning to become more sustainable is not only beneficial for the environment and for society, but for the bottom line too.”

Green supply chains

The survey shows that 85% of businesses want to achieve a sustainability standard recognised by their sector or market. This is in response to regulators and investors putting pressure of firms to disclose their sustainability practices, HSBC claims.

Businesses are seeking to attract consumers increasingly keen to know how the products they buy are made, with transparency a key criteria for 26% of companies when seeking new suppliers.

Last month, companies including Apple, Dell and Levi’s were named as the corporates leading the drive for sustainable and transparent supply chains in the 2018 Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI). Fashion retailer C&A, meanwhile, climbed 30 places to fourth place, while the top ten was completed by Nike, Primark, H&M, Samsung, Inditex and Target.

In related news, the World Bank has today pledged to double its funding for low-carbon projects $200bn over the next five years. The announcement was made at the UN COP24 summit in Poland, where 200 nations are aiming to hammer out a vital agreement to turn the carbon-cutting vision set in Paris in 2015 into reality.

George Ogleby

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