What Achilles' Global Sustainability Priorities Survey found

A recent survey conducted by supply chain risk management solution Achilles found 52% of companies did not have any carbon reduction strategy in place

Achilles, a leading global provider of integrated supplier management and supply chain solutions, recently published the results of its Global Sustainability Priorities Survey conducted in September last year. 

The large-scale survey was conducted in light of the United Nations' COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow. Participants included 2,185 companies, both buyers and suppliers. 

It aimed to investigate how ready companies are for transitioning to a net-zero carbon economy, as well as how advanced their actual plans are and what resources they have committed to sustainability and ESG. 

The UN says the global emission rate will rise 16% if things are left as they are, while climate scientists say CO2 emissions have to be cut by 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The findings of Achilles’ Sustainability Priorities Survey

The survey found the companies that took part in the survey rated the importance of environmental management/sustainability 7.7 out of 10 on average. About 71% of the companies believed that sustainability initiatives would be a matter of priority next year, which is now. 

However, a staggering 52% said they did not have a sustainable procurement strategy.

Meanwhile, 53% of the companies said they had plans to allocate 10% of their procurement budget to sustainability initiatives. Despite believing that carbon reduction was an important business goal, giving it an importance rating of 7.4 out of 10, 52% of companies did not implement any form of carbon reduction strategy. 

As many as 40% of the companies surveyed said the difficulty in finding suppliers with sufficient standards was one of their main challenges. Then, 54% of the companies agreed that "the most common driver of corporate ESG initiatives is social conscience and the desire to be good corporate citizens".

The buyer and supplier supply chain participants

The majority of the companies, around 62%, were based in Europe, including the United Kingdom. A large proportion were based in Portugal and Sweden. Meanwhile, South American companies constituted 15% of the total survey participants. Its northern neighbour, on the other hand, made up 11% of the total participants. Africa made up only 6%, with Asia making a similar figure.

Making up 39% and 34% of the total participants were service sector businesses and construction companies, respectively. Industrial manufacturers made up 20%, oil and gas companies constituted 17%, and utility providers contributed 12%. 

Transport, mining and cement, chemicals, consumer goods and automotive manufacturers made up less than 10% each. The figure amounts to over 100% as several companies were categorised across more than one sector.

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