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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

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