–What is the State of Supply Chain Sustainability Report?

The annual state of supply chain sustainability report is a co-presentation of MIT CTL and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. The report is like a picture of how supply chain and logistics professionals prioritize and implement their supply chain sustainability efforts every year. In essence, we ask the same questions in both survey format and executive interview format year after year to look for patterns and changes.   

Why is it valuable to ask the same questions year after year?

In general, repeated measurement is a valuable scientific approach.  It offers two unique benefits: (1) replication – we can run the same test multiple times, giving confidence to our conclusions when a pattern repeats; and (2) detection of change – we need to measure the same thing at two different points in time in order to know if the measurement is moving up, down, or staying the same with time. 

In general what have we learned?

There is a lot! I encourage people to read the upcoming State of Supply Chain Sustainability report when it comes out next month for details. But, put briefly: change is the only constant.  Over the 3 years that we’ve been doing this research, prioritizations and implementations of supply chain sustainability show change over time and over geography. Also, the technology seems to be evolving too. 

What does this mean for firms?

That there is no sustainability ‘dipstick’ for your firm. By that, I mean that how much sustainability a firm needs, and in what sub-dimensions of sustainability you need it  (e.g. CO2 emissions, human rights protections…) is always changing. This is a dynamic space, responsive to the times and context. A firm can’t just check its sustainability dipstick and move on down the road. Every year, and in every geography, I think a firm needs to calibrate itself to its operating context.

What comes next?  

The 2022 report will be released in July at sscs.mit.edu. Please take a look! Thanks to our sponsors, it’s free to read to anyone in the world. This year, we received assistance with thought leadership and underwriting from 5 generous sponsors: Avetta, Blue Yonder, CH Robinsons, project 44, and KPMG. So please take a look and share your impressions. If you’d like to be involved next year in any capacity, please reach out to me at dcorrell@mit.edu