Challenges and Best Practices of Sustainable Supply Chain Management



Challenges and best practices of sustainable supply chain management


Workshop organizers: Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland (FOEN), Rütter Soceco, Global Compact Network Switzerland and Firmenich


Date and Time: Thursday, 24 October, 8:30-10:00 CET

Link to the WRF conference themes:

  1. Green and circular economy
  2. Sustainable development goals (SDG)
  3. Life cycle thinking and resource efficiency
  4. Energy efficiency, business, and financing
  5. Sustainable consumption and production



Today’s economy is highly interconnected. Supply chains often span the entire globe. As a result, the environmental impacts caused by the production of goods are spread all over the world. Often the environmental impacts that occur in a company’s supply chain are higher than those that occur at the site itself. Companies are increasingly expected to deal with their supply chains and be transparent about the impact of their business activities, including their upstream activities. In addition, there are national as well as international Guidelines and initiatives that pursue this goal (OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, EU directive on non-financial reporting etc.).

At present, however, most environmental measures and objectives, as well as the (sustainability) reporting of companies is largely based on the company’s own production facilities. This does not reflect the importance of supply chains. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) therefore wishes to raise awareness among companies of the environmental relevance of their supply chains and show ways and best practices in which environmental impacts can be reduced throughout the entire value chain.


Key questions

What is the need for action and what are the expectations for sustainable supply chain management? What do we know about environmental hotspots in the supply chain of companies? Which tools and support do companies need to improve the sustainability of their supply chains? We are discussing with various stakeholders how organizations from different industries can better assume their responsibility for sustainable supply chain management.


Benefits for the audience

The participants learn:

– how politics is committed to the topic of supply chain management and what support it provides

– how green public procurement is driving the issue forward

– how to analyse hotspots in supply chains and what data is available

– what kinds of challenges and opportunities exist for companies in managing global value chains

– which tools and networks can help to optimize supply chain management

– how Firmenich leads the way as a best practice example in supply chain management

– how other participants of the workshop are dealing with this issue



  1. Welcome and introduction

2. Policy level:

a) Politics comittment to the topic of supply chain management. Presentation by Susanna Fieber, FOEN (15’)

b) Provision of data on environmental hotspots in supply chains: Environmental atlas on Swiss supply chains (Umweltatlas Lieferketten Schweiz). Presentantation by Carsten Nathani, Rütter Soceco (15’)

3. Company level:

a) Human Rights due Dilligence and supply chain management in practice: Approaches and working groups in Switzerland. Antonio Hautle, Global Compact Network Switzerland (15’)

b) Supply Chain Management in Practice. Presentation of best practice example by Dominique Roques, VP Naturals Sourcing at Firmenich (15’)

4. Discussion and Workshop (30’)

5. Wrap-up


Links and materials:

Umweltatlas Lieferketten Schweiz: This publication (only available in German) analyses the environmental impacts of selected Swiss industries including their supply chains and the use phase of their products, if relevant. The environmental hotspots in the supply chains are identified and options for reducing the environmental footprints are presented.

Environmental hotspots in the supply chain of Swiss companies: The background study provides detailed information (available in english)

Umweltatlas Lieferketten Deutschland: The “German Atlas on Environmental Impacts: Supply Chains” shows at which sites and in which global regions along the supply chain negative impacts can occur for selected German industries with high environmental impacts. Environmental impacts are presented via four key topics: greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, water consumption, and land use

UNGC Initatives and Tools:

Application Tools for Enterprises: