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The social benefits of making your supply chain sustainable

To get the latest events, resources and thinking around social impact and sustainability in business subscribe to The Social Procurement Round-Up.

Supply Change Trusted Supplier Britain's Bravest Manufacturing
Supply Change Trusted Supplier Britain's Bravest Manufacturing

Under pressure from an economic and cultural environment that prioritises sustainability and ethics, many companies are looking to their supply chains to make changes. Whilst it’s easy to focus on the environmental benefits of reducing energy consumption and waste, there are also many social benefits that come with a switch to sustainable processes. Here, we take a look at a few ways making your supply chain sustainable can create better outcomes for people and businesses too.

Creating more jobs

One of the main principles of sustainable manufacturing is the circular economy, where products are designed to be long-lived, easy to repair, and easy to recycle. Less new products are produced and items that can no longer be repaired can be stripped down to their key components to be reused or recycled where possible.

This has the potential to create more jobs, such as salvagers, recyclers, and scrap metal workers. Additional social value can be achieved when engaging a social enterprise supplier in this work. For example, Supply Change Trusted Supplier, The Pelican Trust offers recycling sorting, light-hand disassembly and assembly whilst creating employment and support for people with mental health illnesses, physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Change is felt across the supply chain

The growing awareness of the climate change crisis and legislation like the Social Value Model has made some influential companies change their buying habits and this is having exponential effects on supply chains.

For example, a strategic supplier to the UK Government and Supply Change partner, Kier Group, is making leading efforts to prioritise sustainability and social value in its supply chain. In turn, Kier’s suppliers, like another of our collaborators Enva, are looking to organisations like Supply Change to help them follow suit. The effect is that social value and sustainability become priorities across some of the biggest supply chains in the country.


Find the perfect social suppliers

Speak to Supply Change to get tailored support to connect with social enterprise suppliers and create social value through procurement.


The opportunities for change

We often choose to stick with the processes that we already have in place at work because we know they work. For many companies, switching to sustainable manufacturing means changing processes, suppliers and infrastructure. While being costly in the short term it’s a great opportunity to make investments that will return better operational, financial, social and environmental outcomes in the long term.

Attract and retain talent

As Wates Group observed, you may also find employee retention is higher as the workforce has never been more concerned about environmental and social issues. Developing sustainable practices makes your company more attractive to job candidates, brings new people to your local area and attracts top talent to your business.

If you are looking to make changes that prioritise social and environmental sustainability, speak to us to find out how switching to social suppliers can help you achieve your targets.


To get the latest events, resources and thinking around social impact and sustainability in business subscribe to The Social Procurement Round-Up.


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