Introduction to the topic

The benefits of sustainability on a company's reputation is a topic that is gaining more and more importance nowadays. Companies are not only judged by the products or services they offer, but also by the practices and principles they adopt. And when it comes to sustainability, the supply chain plays a crucial role.

What is Sustainability and Supply Chain?

To understand the impact, it is important to define what sustainability and the supply chain are. Sustainability is a concept that seeks to minimize the negative impact on the environment and maximize the positive impact on society, so that current consumption does not compromise future resources. The supply chain involves all the steps that lead to the production and delivery of a product or service.

Sustainable practices in the spotlight

Sustainable practices in the supply chain include reducing waste, using recyclable materials, treating workers fairly and reducing carbon emissions.

Impact on the economy and society

Even though the shift to more sustainable practices represents an initial investment, the green economy has been showing remarkable growth. The International Labor Organization (ILO) predicts the creation of 24 million new green jobs globally by 2030. Additionally, a Harvard University study shows that companies with high levels of good environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices outperform those with low performance by 4.8% per year in US markets and 2.1% per year in global markets.


Corporate Reputation and Sustainability

Sustainability in the supply chain directly affects a company's reputation. Here's how: 

How sustainability influences reputation

Companies that adopt sustainable practices are perceived as responsible and conscientious because they demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of society and the environment, going beyond the goal of simply generating profit. This engagement in social and environmental issues has a significant impact on how customers perceive the company, generating a number of benefits:

Success stories

Companies recognized for their sustainable practices, such as Patagonia and Unilever, have made a name for themselves in the marketplace. Patagonia, for example, donated its entire $10 million profit from Black Friday 2016 to environmental protection groups. Unilever, meanwhile, estimates that its sustainable products grew 69% faster than the rest of the brands in 2018.


Implementation of Sustainable Practices in the Supply Chain

Implementing sustainable practices in the supply chain is not an easy task. Nevertheless, companies need to position themselves and direct their investments towards green technologies.

Steps for implementation

Implementation can start with an audit of the supply chain, followed by setting sustainability targets and policies.

Challenges in implementation

Challenges include finding suppliers who share the same values and overcoming logistical obstacles that can arise in implementing ESG policies.


Advantages of Sustainable Practices

Adopting sustainable practices in the supply chain brings many benefits, see below some of them: 

Benefits for the company

These benefits include a better reputation, increased customer confidence and potentially higher profits.

Benefits for society and the environment

For society and the environment, the benefits are promoting a more sustainable future and improving living conditions for all.



Sustainability in the supply chain is more than a trend - it is a requirement for a company's success and good image in the 21st century.



"World Employment and Social Outlook 2018 - Greening with jobs," International Labour Organization, 2018. 

"Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality," Harvard Business School, 2015. 

"Patagonia's Black Friday Donations Exceeded $10 Million," Fortune, 2016