Assessing the State of Supply Chain Sustainability

  • Sustainability

Supply chain sustainability has increased in importance for companies of all sizes, public and private, across a wide range of industries. While there has been increased excitement in tandem with proclamations of lofty goals around the topic of supply chain sustainability, it has proven challenging to operationalize sustainability when many companies focus on short-term financial goals or lack science-and context-based sustainability targets. The focus of this research is to understand current and future supply chain sustainability practices from the perspective of frontline professionals, across industries, geographies, cultures, and regulatory environments in 2019. This research gathered insights and data through a survey distributed to frontline supply chain professionals, executive interviews, and additional research sources. Results confirm increased corporate interest in supply chain sustainability. However, misalignment may exist between executives who set overarching corporate goals and strategies and frontline professionals who are tasked with the tactical implementation of these strategies. Companies struggle to implement sustainability initiatives under constrained resources with conflicting priorities. Results also indicate that companies may be overstating social and environmental goal commitments, as overall investment levels are lower than goal commitment levels.

To better understand these issues and how companies are adopting supply chain sustainability, this research project was commissioned by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. To set the stage for future State of Supply Chain Sustainability reports, we will reveal the results of our research on supply chain sustainability in 2019 with an added focus on what the events of 2019-2020, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic that is still unfolding at this writing, could mean for supply chain sustainability in coming years.

thesis sustainability supply chain

Our key performance indicators are the gateway to evaluating environmental and social impacts to create more sustainable products for a more sustainable planet. THESIS Key Performance Indicators are interactive tools that highlight environmental and social issues relevant to a product category, practices that can be used to drive improvement on those issues, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and measure performance against these issues.

Explore sustainability profiles

With more than 100 product categories, our sustainability profiles provide a summary of the best available, credible and actionable knowledge about the sustainability of that product.

Perform self-assessments

Use our key performance indicators to find out where your opportunities are for improvement within your consumer product supply chain.

Communicate with buying teams

Our key performance indicators create simple and measurable year-over-year data to help with the buyer/supplier communication.

KEY FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS

The key performance indicator sets are designed to facilitate decision-making by retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers along the value chain, with an emphasis on impact and improving product sustainability. the key performance indicators are science-based and stakeholder-informed, including input by companies, academics, civil society organizations, and government agencies., category sustainability profiles.

Stay informed with category profiles: Get details of the hotspots, sustainability issues, improvement opportunities, and key performance indicators for a product category. Available to TSC members and licensees, profiles also list referenced scientific sources, term definitions, and resources that can help in responding to the KPIs.

Key Performance Indicators

Measure performance and sustainability with KPIs: Each toolkit consists of a questionnaire, related documentation, and a scoring model to determine the final score. The scorecard questions come directly from the key performance indicators (KPIs) and relevant to a specific product category.

  • Sustainability Snapshots

Communicate with buying teams: Sustainability Snapshots provide a top line overview of the issues and opportunities for each category written for a general audience.

TSC   offers a suite of tools and services to support organizations in their mission to develop, manufacture and sell more sustainable consumer products.   THESIS license is available to TSC members and licensees.   These products may be purchased at a very reasonable price individually or as a package.  

IMPORTANT!   This is   not   a license for THESIS on SupplyShift and cannot be used to share assessment results with retail customers. To activate your THESIS license on SupplyShift, click   here   to create or log into your company account.

THESIS License

  • Key Performance Indicator Sets
  • Supply Chain Diagrams for over 50 product categories
  • Calculation Tools

thesis sustainability supply chain

SUPPLY CHAIN DIAGRAMS

TSC Supply Chain Diagrams are graphic representations of product life cycles that reveal key hotspots and improvement opportunities. The diagram highlights KPIs that can be used to track supplier performance and drive impact. Three product categories have been selected to demonstrate the application of the diagrams in a wide variety of sectors:   chicken, laundry detergent, and household paper.

Access to THESIS content via the Member Portal and via a licensing arrangement with SupplyShift are benefits of TSC membership. Non-members can  purchase a THESIS license for $699 USD.  Want to first learn more about how THESIS can help you specifically?

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Business Trends

Author's profile photo Richard Howells

Supply Chain Predictions 2024: AI, Sustainability Top Of Mind

To paraphrase a much-attributed quote, “Making predictions is hard. Especially if they are about the future.” And the last few years have not made the challenge any easier in the topsy turvy world of global supply chain trends.

Since the start of the decade, supply chains have become a strategic pillar for many global businesses and industries. What constitutes a well-run supply chain? Depends on who you ask. Sometimes it’s about cost and efficiency, other times customer service versus profitability. Most recently, resiliency, sustainability and artificial intelligence (AI) have been stealing headlines.

Risk Resiliency is here to stay

Over the past three years, the risks and shortfalls in our global supply chains have been brought to the forefront across all industries. Supply chains are now recognized as central to business survival, success, and growth, rather than an opportunity to just reduce costs.

Companies have, and will continue to revisit risk-mitigation strategies:

  • Strategies for on-shore, near-shore, and off-shore to be closer to the actual demand.
  • Alternate sourcing strategies for key materials to reduce supply chain risk by identifying alternate suppliers in different geographical locations to reduce dependencies on a single source of supply.
  • Rethink  inventory optimization strategies  to identify decoupling points and postponement strategies, to better position the right materials, intermediates, and finished products across the supply chain.
  • Improve collaboration  and increase visibility with suppliers, logistics service providers, contract manufacturers and other key trading partners.

Sustainability is top of mind

2024 is the year we will begin to see a constant flow of regulations around ESG coming into effect. Companies will be required to both understand and disclose their carbon footprint and emissions. And they will look to their supply chains for the data.

Supply chains are a huge part of the problem when it comes to emissions (estimated to be about 70% for most companies), circularity, and inequality, and are therefore a great area to focus on when looking for solutions.

Employees, stakeholders, customers and regulatory bodies are demanding sustainability data, and decision-makers must understand how the supply chain performs, which suppliers and logistics providers contribute to a greener business model, and what changes can impact the rest of the business.

Suppliers that cannot meet  ESG regulations , will see business dwindling as customers look for mor sustainable alternatives.

Transparency and Predictability are the enablers

To be more risk-resilient and sustainable you must start by knowing the current situation. How can leadership predict and respond to the supply chain without a clear line-of-sight into what’s happening across various business units and partners?

To meet sustainability initiatives, companies must be able to pinpoint where emissions and waste are in the supply chain, or where slave labor and inequality is occurring across the business network and track it to translate the findings into actionable next steps.

But visibility alone is not enough. What is the point of knowing you have a problem, if you are not in a position to resolve it!

This is where predictive and prescriptive analytics has a critical role in anticipating upcoming challenges and opportunities and provide relevant and timely information to make an informed decision. Predictive and prescriptive analytics helps supply chain practitioners make decisions based on what’s likely to happen next week, not just telling them what happened last week.

Digitization and AI are the game changers

One key to enabling risk-resilient and sustainable supply chains is  digitalization . With a more digitalized supply chain, you can handle disruptions better, faster, and at a lower cost. By investing in supply chain technology to digitalize processes, such as AI (artificial intelligence) the (IoT) Internet of Things and robotics, companies have been able to improve visibility agility and resilience across the supply chain.

Digitally networking all the trading partners puts companies in a much better position to anticipate disruptions and take appropriate actions needed to keep customers and regulatory bodies happy. The goal is to transform fragmented supply chains into agile, collaborative networks for supply, logistics, asset management, and service – all connected by dynamic workflows with real-time data to increase the pace of business.

The word (or words) of the year for supply chains in 2024 will be “ GEN AI ”.

Companies need to segment their AI strategies into 3 different categories:

  • Improve supply chain efficiency  – How can you drive organization to do the things that you do today in a different, more accelerated fashion?
  • Improve the user experience  – How can I making things more intuitive, and provide contextual information?
  • Deliver new processes and innovation –  Can Ideveloping a capability that you’ve previously not had in the organization?

Are we ready for the Supply Chain Worker of tomorrow?

The worker of tomorrow is digitally connected and has access to information at their fingertips, 24/7 in their personal life and expects the same connectivity and access to information in their work environment.

The future will bring a greater focus on companies using IOT, AI and other technologies within their factories, across the supply chain of smart assets, and into the hands of consumers and customers leveraging the smart products and devices it enables.

Technology will also help alleviate worker shortages and improve retention by improving the retention, productivity and decision making of existing employees, and attracting new talent with state-of-the-art tools. And as the degree of automation increases, it frees up the workforce from repetitive tasks, and allows them to focus on more complex problems and decisions that require human interactions.

One thing is certain. Supply chains play a vital role in a business’s strategy both today and moving forward.

To learn more about how to get your business ready to address these challenges and opportunities, download the recent  Oxford Economics Research

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Petrochemicals in 2024: Capacity Overbuild and Codependent Markets with John Richardson of ICIS - Ep 144 The Chemical Show: Executive Interviews on Leadership, Sustainability, Supply Chain, Digitization, Customer Centricity and mo

What factors are driving petrochemical markets today?  Join this conversation between Victoria Meyer and industry-expert John Richardson of ICIS as they discuss the trends and influences on the Asian and global petrochemical markets.  Including: Excess capacity due to overbuilt olefins and polyolefins assets Global co-dependence on China for petrochemical consumption and demand growth China's shift to "mature" growth of 1-3% p.a. from "fast growth" 6-8% p.a. How leaders are handling economic and market challenges Download John's latest analysis on petrochemical markets here.  Killer Quote: "2024 and beyond will be a roller coaster ride for the industry, with China's dominance in global demand dictating the trajectory. The key will be for companies to navigate this landscape, whether they are giant international players or small local companies.” –John Richardson Prior interviews with John: Episode 102: China’s Aging Demographics and the Future of the Chemical Industry with John Richardson Episode 79: How The China Market Affects Chemical Prices With John Richardson Episode 36: How China’s Response To Chemicals Is Affecting the World With John Richardson of ICIS Episode 22: Understanding Market Demand To Manage Your Business Amid Uncertainty With John Richardson Support for our podcast comes from EcoVyst.At Ecovyst, we're accelerating the transition to a sustainability-driven future. Our long history of innovation expertise and close customer collaboration supports the development of proprietary catalysts and services across our two industry-leading businesses, Advanced Materials & Catalysts and EcoServices. Advanced Materials & Catalysts is a leader in proprietary and customized technologies for polymers, cleaner fuels, emissions control and circularity. EcoServices is the largest North American recycler of spent sulfuric acid. Ecovyst... your catalyst for positive change.

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Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE: Events breakdown in 2024

Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2024 Event Breakdown

Connecting the world’s procurement and supply chain leaders, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will be returning in 2024 to bring the biggest global businesses together to deliver insightful keynotes, fireside chats, and panel discussions sharing valuable knowledge and real-world experiences. 

Singapore 

When: 21 March 2024

Location: Singapore (Virtual)

Website: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Singapore

Join C-suite executives and peers from the procurement and supply chain world at Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Singapore on 21, March.

Core topics to be discussed during the event:

  • Procurement and supply chain strategy
  • Digitalisation
  • Transformation
  • Supply chain sustainability 

Serving as the ultimate virtual platform network for Singapore, the event connects like-minded peers and companies throughout Asia, those attending Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Singapore will hear from the likes of Shell, Mondelēz International, City Bank, HPE, and many more!

To get your tickets, click here .

Dubai 

When: 15 May 2024

Location: Dubai (Virtual)

Website: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Dubai

Gathering C-suite leaders from the likes of MTN Group, Proctor & Gamble, Absa Group, and Baker Hughes, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE Dubai (15, May) will be hosting two interactive and high-energy panels discussing procurement strategy and procurement transformation as well as in-depth fireside chats with leading Chief Supply Chain Officers. 

Serving as the ultimate virtual platform network for Dubai the event connects like-minded peers and companies throughout the Middle East and Africa.

thesis sustainability supply chain

When: 5-6 June 2024

Location: New York (Virtual)

Website: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE New York

Across two action-packed days, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE New York will gather like-minded peers and leaders from the likes of Cognizant, AXA XL, City of New York, and Bosch to deliver keynotes and host interactive and high-energy panels on the 5-6, June. 

Over the two days, C-suite leaders will discuss:

  • Supply Chain sustainability

Serving as the ultimate virtual platform network for New York, the event connects like-minded peers and companies throughout the United States and Canada.

To register your interest, click here .

When: 24-25 September 2024

Location: London (Hybrid)

Website: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE London

Returning to the Business Design Centre (BDC) for another year, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE is the world’s fastest-growing procurement and supply chain event. A must-attend event in 2024, attendees can join virtually or in person across two unmissable days (24-25, September). 

C-Suite leaders from NHS England, GE Healthcare, Yodel, Danish Crown and many more, will discuss:

  • Procurement strategy
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Generative AI
  • Women in procurement
  • Procurement and supply chain transformation
  • Supply chain risk and resilience

Follow the links to see the highlights from Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023, Day 1 and Day 2 .

The Global Procurement & Supply Chain Awards 2024

Presented in conjunction with Procurement Magazine and Supply Chain Digital Magazine - The Global Procurement & Supply Chain Awards 2024 will be debuting at the BDC on Day 1 of Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2024 (24, September). 

The comprehensive programme will acknowledge companies, professionals and projects that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and strategic thinking. 

Serving as a prestigious platform to showcase success stories, inspire industry-wide advancements and celebrate the crucial role of procurement and supply chain in business success, the award will cover 12 categories:

  • Procurement Transformation Award
  • Supply Chain Innovation Award
  • Future Leader Award
  • Digital Supply Chain Award
  • Supply Chain Sustainability Award
  • Executive of the Year Award
  • Global Logistics Award
  • Procurement Technology Award
  • Project of the Year Award
  • Supplier Diversity Award
  • Procurement Consultancy Award
  • Lifetime of Achievement Award 

The awards will be judged by Daniel Weise (BCG), Jim Townsend (Walgreen Boots Alliance), Ninian Wilson (Vodafone Procurement Company), and Alisa Bornstein (Visa Europe). 

To enter The Global Procurement & Supply Chain Awards, click here .

To find out more about our upcoming events, click here .

Make sure you check out the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital and also sign up to our global conference series - Procurement & Supply Chain 2024 ****** Supply Chain Digital is a BizClik brand

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IMAGES

  1. Carter & Rodgers Sustainable Supply Chain Management Model

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  2. The elements of sustainable supply chain framework

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  3. (PDF) An Introduction to Sustainable Supply Chain Management and

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  4. Sustainability in the supply chain

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  5. 6 Sustainable Supply Chain Practices: Examples, Definition & More (2023)

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  6. Infographic

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VIDEO

  1. Concluding Remarks : Restoring Sustainable Flows of Capital for Development

  2. Sustainability in the supply chain I Master's thesis I BMW Group Careers

  3. Update of the supply chain sustainability framework

  4. How Can Supply Chains Embrace Sustainability?

  5. Supply chain sustainability framework, the PLANNING perspective

  6. Supply chain sustainability risks // The Week in Sustainability

COMMENTS

  1. Understanding the State of Supply Chain Sustainability

    Abstract The emphasis on sustainability within supply chains across industries has increased in recent years. Today, companies across the globe report on sustainability efforts and progress each year and set goals to reach ambitious environmental and social sustainability targets.

  2. THESIS

    Science-Based Insights Eliminates Survey Fatigue Established Assessments Data-Backed Decision Making New This Year: Retailers Join Together to Announce a Common Campaign Season THESIS 2023 is available to December 1st! View Retailer Statement THESIS For Retailers and Suppliers For Retailers:

  3. Full article: Sustainability in supply chains: reappraising business

    Sustainability in supply chains: reappraising business process management Kate Mc Loughlin , K. Lewis , D. Lascelles & S. Nudurupati Pages 19-52 | Received 30 Apr 2020, Accepted 27 Jan 2021, Published online: 18 Feb 2021 Cite this article https://doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2021.1884764 In this article Full Article Figures & data References Citations

  4. Sustainable supply chain management: Review and ...

    We develop an integrative framework summarising the existing literature under four broad categories: (i) strategic considerations; (ii) decisions at functional interfaces; (iii) regulation and government policies; and (iv) integrative models and decision support tools.

  5. Sustainability Strategies in Supply Chain Management

    that contribute to the practice and literature of strategic sustainable supply chain management by examining its four aspects: measure, manage, mitigate, and market. The purpose of this dissertation is to utilize a multi-method approach and multiple secondary data sources to examine sustainable supply chain management from a strategy point of view.

  6. Theoretical Perspectives on Sustainable Supply Chain Management and

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between sustainable supply chain management and digital transformation through the adoption of specific technologies (Blockchain technology, big data analytics, internet of things).

  7. (PDF) Sustainable supply chain management: An integrated model for

    The main aim of the research is to explore how some of the key aspects of all three dimensions of sustainability can be incorporated into a single overarching framework and analytical model for...

  8. Dynamics of Supply Chain Sustainability

    Thesis/Capstone Publication Date June 2021 Authored by Jason Y. Pang Advisor (s): Alexis H. Bateman Topic (s) Covered: Data Analytics Machine Learning Abstract Supply chain sustainability has grown steadily in the last half century. Companies today are setting more ambitious goals and investing greater resources.

  9. Assessing the State of Supply Chain Sustainability

    Supply chain sustainability has increased in importance for companies of all sizes, public and private, across a wide range of industries. While there has been increased excitement in tandem with proclamations of lofty goals around the topic of supply chain sustainability, it has proven challenging to operationalize sustainability when many companies focus on short-term financial goals or lack ...

  10. PDF Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Comprehensive Systematic Review

    for practitioners and researchers to transform a supply chain into an improved version in the bigger picture. Keywords: supply chain management; sustainable supply chains; sustainable practices; industrial classification; review 1. Introduction Over the past decades, the term "supply chain (SC)" has been discussed in countless studies.

  11. Achieving Sustainability in Global Supply Chains

    Supply chain sustainability is strictly correlated to the performance of the entire supply chain, and all the companies that contribute to manufacturing the final products and semifinished goods require consideration and tracking (Marconi, Marilungo, Papetti, & Germani, 2017). Companies with unsustainable supply chains, due to frequent supply

  12. Sustainable Supply Chains: Multicriteria Decision-Making and ...

    In the fourth essay, I quantify and assess, from a system-optimized sustainable sup-ply chain network perspective, the environmental effects resulting when a horizontal supply chain integration occurs. In the fifth and final essay, I extend the work of Nagurney (2009) to the multiproduct supply chain network domain to quantify the impacts.

  13. Getting Started with THESIS

    THESIS, or The Sustainability Insight System, is a set of performance assessments that are made up of sets of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). ... Understanding your organization's current state will help your company's supply chain relationships, as well as help identify any gaps in data. Use this time to identify resources and internal ...

  14. PDF Ensuring sustainability in supply chains: A competence model for

    This thesis set out to understand individual SPSM competences, with ... Schulze, H. and Bals, L. (2016) Implementing sustainable supply chain management: Which skills and competencies do we need for Purchasing and Supply Management?, in: International Conference on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, Berlin at Humboldt-University

  15. PDF Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM): an empirical analysis of

    of sustainable supply chains may not be evident, a proposition has been developed in this research so that long-term benefits can be accrued, providing 'win-win' opportunities for both environmental protection and economic benefit. Keywords: Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM); Manufacturing firms;

  16. PDF SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT IN SMEs

    academic research this concept is commonly referred to as sustainable supply chain management. In the past two decades sustainable supply chain management, or SSCM, has moved from the fringes of research to a secure spot in the mainstream (Pagell and Shevchenko, 2014), as evidenced among other things by the rapid rise in articles in peer ...

  17. SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT: A ...

    SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT: A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY APPROACH Supervisor: Constantin Blome Research thesis presented by Alex Denoël To obtain the title of ... This master thesis addresses the sustainable supply chain management performance measurement. It is necessary to explore all the terms of this subject in order to have ...

  18. PDF Sustainable supply chain management: a case study of a ...

    Mc Loughlin, Kate(2018)Sustainable supply chain management: a case study of a sustainable chocolate supply chain network. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

  19. Impact Report 2022: The Power of Science-Based Action

    In THESIS 2021 results, we found that 82 THESIS respondents also have SBTs. Companies that had SBTs scored significantly higher on THESIS than those without SBTs. THESIS and Scope 3

  20. THESIS for Suppliers

    THESIS includes resources to understand supply chain sustainability and the sustainability of consumer products Gain science-based resources to inform development of consumer-facing language, external collaboration, and internal, cross-functional training bookmark star icon

  21. PDF 00 PhD Thesis Document SANCHA (2)

    Sustainable supplier development practices: drivers and enablers in a global environment Figure 1. Research model 53 Achieving a socially responsible supply chain through assessment and collaboration Figure 1. Conceptual model 89 Figure 2. Model (after exploratory factor analysis) 97 Does implementing social supplier development practices pay off?

  22. Any good topics within sustainable supply chain?

    As part of the changes in supply and supply logistics taking place in this regard, it is possible to increase the scale of implementation of the sustainable development goals in this area,...

  23. Toolkits

    Supply Chain Impact. Leadership Institute; Collective Action Program. Small Format Circularity; ... are the gateway to evaluating environmental and social impacts to create more sustainable products for a more sustainable planet. THESIS Key Performance Indicators are interactive tools that highlight environmental and social issues relevant to a ...

  24. Supply Chain Trends 2024: GenAI Is Backbone Of Risk Resiliency

    GenAI investments are top of mind for supply chain leaders. The GenAI wave is getting bigger and changing faster than any revolutionary technology in recent history. Only 2% of enterprise leaders ...

  25. Responsible sourcing a bedrock of supply sustainability

    Responsible sourcing affords businesses the opportunity to combine sustainability initiatives with efficiency efforts and customer demand - but it is an evolving landscape, and many businesses are unsure where to begin the journey. The answer is actually simple: begin with procurement. If businesses are to supply chains that are both ...

  26. Supply Chain Predictions 2024: AI, Sustainability Top Of Mind

    The goal is to transform fragmented supply chains into agile, collaborative networks for supply, logistics, asset management, and service - all connected by dynamic workflows with real-time data ...

  27. Supply Chain Predictions 2024: AI, Sustainability Top Of Mind

    Sustainability is top of mind. 2024 is the year we will begin to see a constant flow of regulations around ESG coming into effect. Companies will be required to both understand and disclose their carbon footprint and emissions. And they will look to their supply chains for the data. Supply chains are a huge part of the problem when it comes to ...

  28. ‎The Chemical Show: Executive Interviews on Leadership, Sustainability

    ‎Show The Chemical Show: Executive Interviews on Leadership, Sustainability, Supply Chain, Digitization, Customer Centricity and mo, Ep Petrochemicals in 2024: Capacity Overbuild and Codependent Markets with John Richardson of ICIS - Ep 144 - Jan 2, 2024 ... we're accelerating the transition to a sustainability-driven future.

  29. Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE: Events breakdown in 2024

    When: 5-6 June 2024. Location: New York (Virtual) Website: Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE New York. Across two action-packed days, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE New York will gather like-minded peers and leaders from the likes of Cognizant, AXA XL, City of New York, and Bosch to deliver keynotes and host interactive and high-energy panels on ...