A growing awareness of the importance of the supply chain is driving a new partnership between firms and their customers.
Buyers are no longer satisfied merely to know that the products they buy meet specific environmental standards and are made from recycled and sustainable materials. They want to know where those materials came from, who made the products, what processes were used, where they were made and how they were transported.
This is crystallising into a very sophisticated response from suppliers and manufacturers which means people and firms not only want to buy the most sustainable products in terms of materials, processes and recyclability, but also buy them from suppliers who can demonstrate a sustainable approach in all aspects of their business.
These are welcome developments. They challenge the cynicism that has grown up around the greenwashing of products and the mundane claims of some firms. They help to circumvent the homogeneity of standards that can reduce client briefs to box ticking exercises and instead allows everybody to work in partnership to create sophisticated, transparent and enlightened approaches to supply chain management.