Embracing Social Responsibility: The Growing Importance of Social Sustainability in Supply Chains
Fueled by an upcoming Securities and Exchange Commission rule on human capital management, increased focus on the ‘social’ element of ESG, and rising consumer awareness of supply chain issues, social sustainability in supply chains is poised to become the next frontier for brands.
The S in environmental, social and governance performance has been gaining currency over the past couple of years; and public companies will soon have to start reporting more thoroughly on their social impact. A Bloomberg Law analysis of the SEC’s direction predicts that human capital management will be a front-burner topic this year, and investors will seek more disclosures to ensure that companies are walking their talk. At the same time, pandemic-driven disruptions have sparked ongoing media coverage of supply chain issues. Consumers are seeing the sausage-making, and it isn’t always pretty.
This is all to the good. Accountability can sting; but for companies that view it as an opportunity, the new focus on social sustainability in supply chains can lead to stronger corporate brands and accelerated revenue growth for suppliers pursuing positive social impact.