Leveraging supply chain finance mechanisms to incentivize sustainable behaviors in global supply chains is an opportunity for businesses and for sustainability. Embedding sustainability factors into the widespread and growing practice of supply chain finance assigns value to supply chain sustainability programs, provides tangible incentives to suppliers and their buyers, and has the potential to open new markets to banks and transform supply chains.
Companies around the world have recognized that the sustainability challenges within their supply chains are a risk and an opportunity to be managed. As such, it has become normal practice for companies to have programs in place to manage the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks in their supply chains. Most reputable global companies have supply chain sustainability programs in place to assess and manage the human rights, labor, governance, environmental, and other risks of their suppliers. These programs are largely based on risk management activities such as supplier assessments and audits.
However, after more than 25 years of corporate supply chain sustainability programs in action, environmental, human rights, and governance issues are still pervasive in global supply chains. There is an opportunity to do more to drive better performance among suppliers, not only at the first tier, but also at tiers deeper in the supply chain.