Unlocking Sustainable Supply Chains: A Pathway to CSRD Compliance

In the evolving landscape of corporate sustainability, the journey towards compliance with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) requires more than just ticking boxes. It demands a fundamental shift in how companies approach governance, transparency, and their supply chains. At HoloHouse, we believe that sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a mandate for responsible business practices that resonate throughout the entire value chain.

CSRD and Sustainable Supply Chains

Did you know that a sustainable supply chain isn’t just about environmental responsibility? It’s also a cornerstone for effective CSRD implementation. Robust corporate governance is indispensable here. Without it, companies may struggle to gather, verify, and report non-financial data accurately.

Moreover, ethical leadership committed to sustainability is crucial. Without it, CSRD compliance risks becoming a superficial exercise, lacking genuine commitment to sustainable practices. To comply with the CSRD, companies must report on various matters as outlined in the standard ESRS G1: Business Conduct. The management of relationships with suppliers is one of them!

Apparently, to further improve supply chain monitoring and auditing could help enhance supplier code of conduct and as a result improve overall compliance.

Nurturing Sustainable Partnerships

Over the years, HoloHouse has been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, fostering partnerships that drive real change. One such collaboration is with Chalmers University of Technology, where we’ve worked on various course projects like the “Sustainable Supply Chain” course for Master of Science students. This course equips future leaders with the tools and knowledge to analyze the supply chain of different organizations and develop strategies that prioritize sustainability.

Those strategies can, for example, focus on sourcing in regard to sustainability, production locations, sustainability risks, monitoring and management of suppliers, how products can be more sustainable, closed-loop supply chains, social responsibility etc.

Case in Point: Strömstad Municipality

One outstanding project within this course was commissioned by the Catering Department of Strömstad Municipality in late 2023. Faced with the dual challenges of global political instability and climate change, the Municipality sought to fortify its food supply chain by prioritizing locally produced and organic food. The goal? To nourish its citizens, mainly for schools, nurseries, retirement homes and other people in need, while minimizing environmental impact and bolstering the local economy.

Balancing Local and Sustainable

The Chalmers students conducted a comprehensive analysis of the current supply chain, with Arla and Menigo being the two main suppliers, and gave recommendations on how to optimize it. Moreover, they identified several local food producers and proposed the possibility of integrating them into the municipal procurement system, considering existing contracts, food quality and regulations.

While sourcing locally offers benefits like shorter transport distances and reduced carbon emissions, it doesn’t automatically equate to sustainability. Production methods, capacity, financial stability, and other elements must be considered. It is thus important to strike a delicate balance – maintaining partnerships with current suppliers while forging relationships with local producers committed to sustainability.

This project exemplifies our philosophy at HoloHouse: sustainability isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s a nuanced, multifaceted approach that demands collaboration, innovation, and unwavering commitment. As businesses navigate the complexities of sustainability and regulatory compliance, the role of sustainable supply chains cannot be overstated.

At HoloHouse, we’re not just enabling conversations; we’re driving meaningful actions. By bridging the gap between theory and practice, academia and industry, we’re empowering the next generation of leaders to build a more sustainable future. Together, we’re unlocking the potential of sustainable supply chains, paving the way for CSRD compliance and beyond.

Author: Cicily Wang