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Pictured: Dr. Kevin Dooleyin order to enhance their capabilities and reach. Even competitors are beginning to work together on certain pre-competitive issues where their collective efforts can bring standardisation and thus higher quality and lower costs. The same type of holistic approach is emerging in the world of sustainability issues too, as activists and experts representing different concerns are working together to make progress in a systemic fashion.The Sustainability Consortium - A Time for Multi-Industry Collaboration The Sustainability Consortium, or TSC, is an organisation of corporate, NGO, government, and academic stakeholders who believe the time is right for collective action and have formed a consortium to drive a new generation of products and supply chains that address today's sustainability imperatives. TSC is doing so by focusing on developing science and tools that enable rigorous and cost-effective measurement and reporting of consumer product sustainability.Sustainability measurement and reporting is a critical component of this next phase of the sustainability revolution. Measurement links strategy to tactics and serves to incentivise - you get what you measure. Reporting creates a framework for conversations between buyers and suppliers of all types, including end consumers, which enables collaboration. Standards for measurement allow tracking of progress and comparison against benchmarks, while standards for reporting drive down the cost of implementation and eliminate redundant efforts.TSC is moving the ball forward on sustainability measurement and reporting in three ways. First, participants within particular industry sectors share current science and expert knowledge about the environmental and social hotspots for a product category, like computer laptops or laundry detergent. Improvement opportunities that address the hotspots are identified and key performance indicators are created, which allow tracking against the improvement opportunities. Second, participants across the different industry sectors develop consensus on the measurement and reporting rules that all sectors will follow in order to standardise efforts. Third, TSC collaborates with other international efforts to ensure harmonisation of approaches across the globe.Next Steps - A Time for You To Explore the BoundariesTake a look outside your organisation - are there competitors or supply chain partners or NGOs or subject matter experts that you can engage to take collective action on sustainability? If all your neighbours are going to the same place, is not it time to hop on the same bus together? The next great successes of the business and sustainability revolution await those who want to work together to make it happen. nABOUT THE AUTHORDr Kevin Dooley is a Professor of Supply Chain Management, and a Dean's Council of 100 Distinguished Scholars in the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Dr Dooley is a world-known expert in the application of complexity science to help organisations improve. He has published over 100 research articles and co-authored an award winning book, "Organizational Change and Innovation Processes".About the Sustainability ConsortiumThe Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is an independent organisation of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability. TSC develops transparent methodologies, tools, and strategies to drive a new generation of products and supply networks that address environmental, social, and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium advocates for a credible, scalable, and transparent process and system. The organisation boasts over 75 members from all corners of business employing over 57 million people and whose combined revenues total over US$1.5 trillion. Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas jointly administer The Sustainability Consortium, with additional operations at Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Learn more at / Twitter: follow @TSC_news sustainable business 121

Only Scratching the Surface Will Not Get Us Far Enough S cratching the surface - i.e. greening operations here and there - seems to demand considerable effort, but a handful of companies have now recognised it is high time to get the real job done.Decoupling GDP from carbon emissions is happening at global level, but is still relative. Although current material and energy intensity hasdeclined from "Rio 1992" levels (world energy intensity decreased by 21 per cent1 from 1990 to2010), absolute figures are far from those necessary to keep the world temperatures from rising more than 2°C (corresponding to a 45 per cent increase of CO2 emissions from 1990 to 20102). Looking at the same issue from a Company's own sustainability perspective, the good news is such global challenges trigger multiple innovations towards resource efficiency -thus cost savings- and help create new business opportunities for leaders. In that context, revisiting global Supply Chains becomes increasingly critical. The following stances are a collection of key trends captured through discussions with leading global companies in the course of our on-going Global Sustainability Study. Transparency is non-negotiable In recent years, many stories linking brand image and supply chain issues have hit the headlines. Asleaders in the food, textile and apparel, shoes, pharmaceuticals, electronics, or else retail sectors could testify, Internet and social media make the task of exposing the companies' supply chain shortcomings easy. NGOs with local bases have the" Defining sustainable, cost-effective and secure Supply Chains will require bold and innovative actions in multiple fields "Xavier Houot, Partner, Sustainability Services, BearingPointAndreas Merbecks, Partner, Business Strategy and Transformation, BearingPointability to gather and communicate information before companies have time to act, or even know about the problem. Companies cannot leave their reputation in somebody else's hands, and for this they need to know much more about their suppliersthan the typical procurement criteria would stipulate. To reach the Grail of "100 per cent transparency" along the supply chain, companies first have to map critical supply chain impacts and dependencies. Organisations such as Patagonia, Nike, Apple, Unilever and Tesco, amongst others, have taken steps to radically increase the transparency of their supply chain, either following severe reputational issues faced by some of their brands or as a way of expressing their brand identity.Not to forget, the slow but steady implementation of regulatory frameworks and labelling schemes is putting significant pressure on most brands to tell the world where they really source materials from, from how far, and sometimes even from whom.Short is beautiful?Recent developments have helped raise awarenessamongst businesses regarding their acute sensitivityto distant events. In late 2011 for example, floodsin Thailand disrupted the supply chains of regionalautomobile and hard drive manufacturers for months. Earlier, socio-economic troubles in Ivory Coast pushed cocoa prices to peak levels. Althoughnot a solution for every business, some players havedecided to shorten their supply chain drastically, either by reducing the number of intermediaries or distance involved therein. The latter might also be linked with strategic (re)localisation, which incidentally matches an increasing willingness of developed economies to secure local ? 122 green supply chain