Strategic Focus: Traceability In The Supply Chain

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Executive Summary

In this report, we analyse the ways in which regulations are putting pressure on brands to evidence the origin of their materials, demonstrate the ethical nature of their suppliers’ working conditions and accurately account for environmental impacts. As environmental and climate-related litigation cases against firms are soaring, and climate and geopolitical risks pose threats to supply chains, brands in industries such as apparel, electronics, food and beverage, and automotives increasingly face a push-pull. They now require both accurate product data to satisfy compliance and trusted information to build sustainable products that meet their customers’ expectations. To meet these demands, supply chain traceability solutions are expanding to enable compliance, inform procurement and support sustainability functions. 

Table of contents

Supply chain traceability will become the new norm in consumer-facing industries
Several regulations are driving the need for visibility into product provenance
Non-regulatory forces are steering firms to adopt supply chain traceability solutions
Core features of supply chain traceability solutions
Supply chain traceability supports proactive supply chain sustainability

Table of figures

Figure 1. Global supply chain sustainability regulations influencing demand for supply chain traceability solutions
Figure 2. Corporate commitments and investments in supply chain sustainability performance
Figure 3. Overlap of traceability solutions for supply chain risk, compliance and sustainability management
Figure 4. Examples of software vendors serving the supply chain traceability market

About the authors

Guy Lewis

Industry Analyst
Guy is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. He currently leads research on circular economy software and services and supports research across several other ESG and sustainability themes. Prior to joining Verdantix, Guy was an energy specialist helping to optimize member experience, through which he gained knowledge of both operations and smart technologies. Guy holds a BA in Geography from the University of Manchester, with a placement year at the University of Queensland.

Elisa Molero

Industry Analyst
Elisa Molero is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. Her current research agenda focuses on emerging solutions and global market trends around supply chain sustainability. Her background is in Economics, Leadership and Governance (BSc, University of Navarra). Prior to joining Verdantix, Elisa worked as a research analyst at the Centre For Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, where she completed a Master’s degree in Global Politics, with Distinction.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability
Kimberly Knickle is Research Director of the ESG & Sustainability practice at Verdantix. Her research areas encompass ESG regulations and reporting, ESG risk, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact, and sustainable finance. Kim has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry, providing research and analysis to help companies invest wisely in new technologies. Before joining the analyst industry, she held various roles in IT services, engineering and product safety testing, beginning her career at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Kim holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

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