A dedicated school promotes supply chain sustainability

The Supply Chain Sustainability School was developed in partnership with big firms to train individuals in environmental, social and governance initiatives

The importance of the supply chain has become significantly more apparent over the last few years. The industry has endured a string of unprecedented events, the most detrimental being COVID-19 with its effects trailing behind it. As a result of this exposure, the supply chain, as well as procurement, is a topic of conversation to be had by many and there has been more interest in the sector as a whole. 

A UK-based institution, the Supply Chain Sustainability School, was launched in 2012 to allow both individuals and major corporations to work together to upskill sustainability. The school also enables collaboration among supply chain competitors to develop a more sustainable built environment and supply chain infrastructure. 


Ian Heptonstall, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability School, says: “When we first floated the idea of an online sustainability learning platform for the built environment industry, we were told it was unlikely that competing companies would collaborate, nor would people use an online training platform. But most of all, the supply chain was simply not interested in sustainability.”

Training businesses to become more sustainable

The school provides free online learning, which supplies around 50,000 registered employees with 3,000 resources and 400 virtual training sessions. It was also awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Sustainable Development for its environmental and social support of its Members and Partners. 

“A decade on and 50,000 people have trained through the School - last year alone we had over 100,000 e-learning downloads. We’re thrilled to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. I see it as thank you to all those people who have joined us to collaborate and drive real sustainable change across our industry,” says Heptonstall. 

The school was co-funded by over 180 partner organisations and is delivered by a third-party sustainability consultancy, Action Sustainability. The leadership team is comprised of a school board of representatives from partner firms, which is responsible for financial decision-making and strategic planning. 

Chair of Supply Chain Sustainability School, Shaun McCarthy OBE says: “I was honoured by Her Majesty in 2013 with an OBE for services to sustainability and London 2012. This is different, it’s not about me, it’s for everybody involved in the School over the past 10 years and so, we dedicate this award to you! Thank you, all.”


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