There are many different factors that keep on influencing the competitive landscape, such as globalization, growing complex and extensive companies’ networks, business districts, public-private partnerships, remote and nomadic working, business and/or knowledge processing outsourcing, crowd sourcing and open innovation, portals and social networks for interacting with suppliers, increased ability to produce on-demand and custom-made goods. Consequently, the ability to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural sustainability of an extended supply chain, adopting a “Cradle to Cradle” vision, also emerges from our analysis as a driving factor of the ability to innovate and compete in the medium-long term. For this reason we surely fully sponsor and support the sustainability inspired management of an extended supply chain (supplier-customer), by inspiring awareness for all the involved people, in any institution, company or public body. We also think that it is important to measure and better understand what is happening in Italy, and by comparison with the best Italian and international practices, to identify some trends and opportunities for improvement. We believe that the evolution of sustainability awareness in those organizational functions that manage the supply chain, is therefore a distinctive element of enterprises and institutions maturity in the twenty-first century, it is necessary action to give concrete answers to the current crisis and the future challenges.
Private companies buy goods and services for amounts ranging between 30% and 70% of their sales volume, they have hundreds or thousands of suppliers and purchased products (including complex goods or those coming from critical areas) that must be compliant to rules, laws and evaluations/certifications of international organizations. Apply sustainability criteria ensuring and improving the competitiveness of enterprise, means managing a effective "critical mass” capable of influencing an extended global scenario, acting with a long-term vision, to reduce risk and waste, improve the image and the internal and external reputation, combining profit and growth with the commons protection.
The Public Administration is one of the main buyers, purchasing approximately 2 trillion Euros per year, equivalent to 19% of the European Union’s GDP. For this reason it is a huge potential booster for the sustainability’s culture and practice, effectively engaging the public and private sectors in a virtuous cycle. It can match the goals of environmental protection, health and employment, with the use and reuse of efficient and innovative economic resources, both tangible and intangible, creating an ideal pact between institutions, capital, businesses and citizens.
The sustainability of the supply chain includes the following relevant aspects, endorsed by us and most of the companies’ stakeholders (e.g.: the employees, the customers, the suppliers, the community, the environment, the shareholders):
- Environmental responsibility, from the consumption/recycling/reuse of resources and energy to the reduction of pollutant emissions and GHG, including the biodiversity protection;
- Social responsibility, respect for human rights, workers’ culture and their families, diversity, promoting equal opportunity and social and cultural growth;
- Economic development by product’s, process’s and business model’s innovation;
- Corporate governance oriented to sustainability and positive impact on society, the risk management approached as an opportunity;
- Good and transparent business practices, ethics and anti-corruption behaviours;
- Community involvement both in the near territory and the virtual network.