Dr. Kevin Dooley presents a preview of TSC's 2018 Impact Report at TSC Summit 2018 in Chicago.
The theme for this year’s Impact Report 2018 is increasing transparency. The phrase is an aspiration, a process, and an outcome.
As an aspiration, customers and investors are increasing their demand for transparency in consumer products. They want to know how is it made, where is it made, what is it made of, and how to properly use and dispose of it? Organizations that are more transparent with the answers to these questions build more consumer and investor trust, which leads to loyalty and positive business value. When transparency is rewarded, it is confirmation that markets care about sustainability.
As a process, we need significant action to move increasing transparency from a catchy phrase to an operational strategy. There are many reasons why consumer product value chains lack transparency, and these reasons go well beyond an organization simply not wanting to be transparent. Most companies lack awareness of what their direct, tier one suppliers are doing with regards to sustainability; when we extend the need to the entire extended supply network, it is a blind spot for many. Technology is coming to the aid of these challenges, but it still requires hard work and consensus building to developing standard, shared systems that enable better transparency.
As an outcome, the bottom-line question is: Are we actually increasing transparency? Or is this just window-dressing?