Ivalua: COVID-19 hindering UK sustainability initiatives
Ivalua - a leading provider of spend management cloud solutions - has released its most recent research on UK sustainability initiatives and the impact of COVID-19. On behalf of Ivalua, Vanson Bourne surveyed 200 UK based procurement, supply chain and finance professionals on managing sustainability initiatives and environmental concerns within the supply chain.
Within the research, Ivalua reports that 60% of UK businesses have reduced their investments in sustainability initiatives as a result of COVID-19. While 95% of UK businesses have 12 months plans in place to combat environmental concerns within the supply chain, many of these could be impacted as a result of the effect COVID-19 has had on business operations and budgets.
In addition the research highlighted the challenges for businesses implementing sustainability initiatives with 93% noting that it is challenging to gain visibility into suppliers in order to track the environmental impact of the supply chain. Further looking into suppliers, 38% of organisations believe that quality is an important factor to consider while 31% believe it is cost and 15% sustainability. However, despite a low number ranking sustainability as a top priority, 87% of UK businesses believe that having a greener supply chain can provide a competitive advantage.
“COVID-19 has forced many companies to change their priorities to focus on ‘business as usual’ and ensuring their survival, creating further barriers when it comes to implementing sustainability initiatives,” commented Alex Saric, smart procurement expert at Ivalua.
“However, in the coming months and years, businesses must return their focus to improving sustainability and contributing to global efforts to reduce our impact on the environment. Whilst it is a barrier today, COVID-19 is also pushing leaders to rethink their approach to supply chains. In this respect, COVID-19 could be a tipping point for a sustainability revolution, and businesses that don’t take action to tackle environmental concerns could risk losing market share to greener competitors.”
Lack of digital maturity was also highlighted as a challenge for businesses looking to gain visibility into the supply chain, with 30% UK businesses reporting a lack of visibility into supplier risk, in addition to a further 28% lacking visibility into tier 2 and 3, while 20% struggle with tier 1 suppliers.
In addition to this some businesses are also facing challenges when it comes to identifying and mitigating environmental concerns in the supply chain as a result of poor data quality (39%), prioritisation of cost (38%) and collaboration with suppliers (38%).
Ivalua details that as a result lack of visibility has made a large proportion of UK businesses unprepared to address the environmental concerns, with 81% stating that they do not have a comprehensive and fully developed plan to overcome air pollution, and 74% stating the same for carbon emissions. While 24% have no plans to address water pollution.
“Businesses need to address supplier visibility issues and make sure they are putting the right tools in place to drive environmental change internally and beyond, empowering suppliers to do the same”, concluded Saric.
“This means taking a smarter approach to procurement that gives UK businesses a 360-degree view of their suppliers, including information on sustainability practices. This will make sure businesses can see exactly who their suppliers work with, assess environmental impact and identify opportunities to collaborate on sustainability projects in real time, ensuring sustainability remains a top priority in a post-COVID-19 world.”
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”