Businesses have been forced to navigate and adapt to these challenges to ensure continuity, limit interruption and reduce risk

From Brexit to the pandemic and the current geopolitical conflict, the supply chain industry has faced a flood of challenges in recent years. This has caused disruption to supply chains. Businesses have been forced to navigate and adapt to these challenges to ensure continuity, limit interruption and reduce risk. 

Alice Strevens, Director Human Rights and Social Impact, Mazars 

As part of this, it’s increasingly important for businesses to ensure they have robust human rights due diligence processes in place. These processes support companies in their decision-making during crises, and help them identify risks in their supply chains. This ultimately protects them in both stable and unstable times. 

Human rights and environmental due diligence provides a basis on which to address environmental, social and governance issues that impact supply chain resilience. Companies that respond to crises with an approach based on due diligence are more likely to protect their relationships with suppliers. Plus, they get to mitigate the impact on workers in their value chain. An example of this is during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies saw buyers abruptly cancel orders, request refunds in full and pause orders for months. With many suppliers facing reduced sales at the time, it led to questions as to whether businesses were working alongside suppliers. Or taking advantage of the circumstances to get reduced costs. 

It’s important to learn from these lessons to build strong sustainable supply chain strategies. This will help businesses remain resilient both in stable times. And in the face of significant events. There isn’t a perfect formula. However, the concept of double materiality (i.e. considering sustainability matters from both the perspective of the impact on people and the environment, and the perspective of the financial risks and opportunities to the business) is helping businesses to assess sustainability-related risk strategically.  

Supplier engagement will ensure long-term success 

Building a sustainable supply chain for the long-term requires engagement and collaboration with supply chain partners. Long-term relationships can provide a basis to share challenging risks and impacts transparently. Human rights and environmental due diligence foregrounds the importance of engagement and collaboration to mitigate identified risks and build resilience. 

The responsible supply chain strategy should be integrated into the overarching sourcing strategy and supplier engagement approach. Delivery against the strategy should be built into performance targets and incentives. Regular reviews of impacts, targets and KPIs should be conducted at board level. Making use of the latest technological developments, including assessing their risk for social/environmental concerns and measuring and tracking performance. This will help companies stay ahead and be prepared in their processes. 

An evolving regulatory landscape calls for preparedness 

Another important point to keep in mind is the legislative landscape. This is especially pertinent in the EU, as the rules will make previous voluntary standards now mandatory and will impact large companies. This includes those in their supply chain, including in the UK. 

Companies should therefore look to base their strategies on the authoritative voluntary frameworks on conducting human rights and environmental due diligence. Primarily the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct. This will set them up for meeting legislative requirements down the line. For example, Mazars and Shift co-wrote the UNGP Reporting Framework, which provides a framework for companies to adopt responsible practices, and manage human rights risks. 

The future of supply chain is now 

Ultimately, companies and suppliers should work together to ensure collaboration and a robust strategy which takes all parties into consideration. Listening to feedback and promoting good communication between stakeholders will ensure smooth sailing during the business-as-usual times. And the more tumultuous periods. 

Implementing long-lasting strategies and creating resilience to risks will increase business’ market access and promote their financial value. Thus ensuring that they deliver quality goods and gain loyalty among suppliers. 

Read the full issue of SCS here!

Soqui Calderon, Regional Director of Sustainability for Grupo Modelo and the Middle Americas Zone, reveals how the beverage giant is tackling sustainability from a procurement and supply chain perspective

Our exclusive cover story this month is with Soqui Calderon, Regional Director of Sustainability for Grupo Modelo and the Middle Americas Zone. She reveals how the beverage giant is tackling sustainability from a procurement and supply chain perspective. 

Grupo Modelo is a giant and a leader in the production, distribution and sale of beer in Mexico. Grupo Modelo is part of the Middle America Region (of the AB InBev Group) and boasts 17 national brands. Corona Extra is the most valuable brand in Latin America. Its other brands include: Modelo Especial, Victoria, Pacífico and Negra Modelo. The company also exports eight brands and has a presence in more than 180 countries while operating 11 brewing plants in Mexico. 

Through more than nine decades, Grupo Modelo has invested and grown within – and with – Mexico. It has also generated more than 30,000 direct jobs in its breweries and vertical operations throughout the country. 

Grupo Modelo, like many forward-thinking companies, is currently focused on a drive towards establishing a truly sustainable business. This endeavour is best exemplified in the Middle Americas Zone (MAZ), where sustainability efforts have been led by for the past five years by Soqui Calderon Aranibar, Regional Sustainability and ESG Director. Ambitious targets have been established for the region, but some remarkable achievements have already been made. As Calderon says: “For our team, sustainability is not just part of our business, it IS our business.” 

Sustainability in the MAZ 

The Middle Americas Zone is made up of several countries: Mexico, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Guatemala + other Caribbean islands. Each territory is home to its own brands that are household names in their respective countries. However, Grupo Modelo’s Corona beer, manufactured in Mexico, is one of the top five best-selling beers globally.

Calderon’s regional role means she travels extensively throughout the territories, engaging with all their businesses and collaborating closely with their partners and suppliers. Her job? To effectively outline their sustainability goals…

Read the full story here!

Elsewhere we have some incredible names imparting expert insights from companies such as Amazon Business, Source Day, DHL and Marriott International and lots, lots more! 

Read the full issue here!


Nigel Greatorex, Global Industry Manager at ABB, on how digital technologies can support decarbonisation and net zero goals

Nigel Greatorex is the Global Industry Manager for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at ABB Energy Industries. He explains how digital technologies can play a critical role in the transition to a low carbon world by enabling global emissions reductions. Furthermore, he highlights the role of CCS and how challenges can be overcome through digitalisation.

Meeting our global decarbonisation goals is arguably the most pressing challenge facing humanity. Moreover, solving this requires concerted global action. However, there is no silver bullet to the global warming crisis. The solution requires a mix of investment, legislation and, importantly, innovative digital technologies.

Decarbonisation digital technologies

It’s widely recognised decarbonisation is essential to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Decarbonisation technology is becoming an increasingly important, rapidly growing market. It is especially relevant for heavy industries – such as chemicals, cement and steel. These account for 70 percent of industrial CO2 emissions; equal to approximately six billion tons annually.

CCS digital technologies are increasingly seen as key to helping industries decarbonise their operations. Reaching our net zero targets requires industry uptake of CCS to grow 120-fold by 2050, according to analysis from McKinsey & Company. Indeed, if successful, it could be responsible for reducing CO2 emissions from the industrial sector by 45 percent.

A Digital Twin solution

ABB and Pace CCS joined forces to deliver a digital twin solution. It reduces the cost of integrating CCS into new and existing industrial operations. Simulating the design stage and test scenarios to deliver proof of concept gives customers peace of mind. Indeed, system designs need to be fit for purpose. Also, it demonstrates the smooth transition into CCS operations. Additionally, the digital twin models the full value chain of a CCS system.

Read the full story here

  • Sustainability Technology