CSRD: Supply-Chain versus Value-Chain analysis

During the CSRD journey for companies you can ask yourself if all these administrative work makes sense. A lot of reporting and time investments in reading and understanding documents. And all you do is you write a report or sustainability statement that probably just a few people will read. When I opened the CSRD task to analyze the “value chain” I thought is is easy to perform. You ask the procurement colleagues and we are done. But the value chain is something different than the supply-chain!

This means the entire process from raw material to the customer and the end of life process of a product oder service offering. It has a clear start and a clear end of the chain I need to analyze. I sit most often with direct suppliers and subcontractors and negotiate and discuss open points and gaps.

This is the entire chain. From the very beginning to the very end of a product or service life-cycle or impact. It is not enough to just speak with parties that I am familiar with. You need to go back to the very beginning of your product or process and you end with the very end. For instance a coffee trader has to go back to very start and asking who is producing the plants for the coffees, on what ground they are planted and who is doing that. Until the end of life with questions like: what happens with the packaging, what happens with the waste (in this case coffee grounds).

My experience to take the Value-Chain into consideration and not “only” the Supply-Chain gave me a lot new insights, information and raised new questions where I want to find answers. And among from the statement above that we all have to invest a lot of time and resources into reporting (instead of running real sustainable action), I would recommend all to do such a value-chain analysis and really go into the details. It helps you understanding risks and opportunities for your organization and enables you to close the gaps .. you would not see if you haven’t made such an analysis..

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