If there’s one thing that the horsemeat scandal has shown, it’s that you need to know your suppliers.
Household names from Tesco to the Co-operative have been affected, with more falling victim every day. Traditionally considered as having the most comprehensive understanding of its supply chains, the food industry is now reeling across all of Europe.
This means that amee’s offer of open, transparent data about the environmental credentials of every supplier in the UK has never been timelier.
In the last few years there has been a welcome development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) amongst some of the UK’s biggest businesses, for example Sainsburys and Kingfisher.
But as we’ve seen, compromising on transparency can have catastrophic consequences.
This means that knowing which suppliers are willing to be upfront about their environmental performance will be increasingly important to big organisations which want to secure public trust – something that amee’s directory of environmental data for every UK organisation makes possible.
Including environmental criteria in the procurement process also helps businesses to save money and as the World Bank recently warned, those that don’t green their supply chains “will fail”.
After all, in a world where rising energy prices are never far from the headlines, high fossil fuel consumption translates into higher procurement costs, higher consumer prices and reduced sales.
The public outcry over the discovery of horsemeat means that the big names have had no choice but to pledge a more transparent supply chain.
Making the environmental performance of their supply chains publically available is one way that they can do this. It demonstrates oversight and control and can help inspire trust.
If the UK’s largest companies use the horsemeat scandal as an opportunity to drive greater transparency among their suppliers, we might end up with both healthier food and a healthier environment.
Tim Murphy is CEO of amee