The Discussion Paper “Sustainable Supply Chains” is Published

In an ever more globalised world, supply chains organised solely on a regional basis have shrunk considerably. About two thirds of today’s world trade is based on global value chains and supply networks. Despite their positive impact on employment rates and prosperity levels, global supply chains are also characterised by extreme social, ecological, and economic imbalances. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only aggravated and made these imbalances more palpable. The joint discussion paper by the Wuppertal Institute, the CSCP and Sustainabill “Sustainable Supply Chains: Global Cooperative Regional Economies for Prosperity and Resilience” outlines future scenarios for addressing these imbalances in long-lasting ways.

The Coronavirus crisis has disrupted complex supply chains and worsened pre-existing production and consumption challenges in the course of a very short period of time. Other crises, such as global climate change, are developing more insidiously, stretching over longer periods of time, and thus causing less pressure to counteract. Despite their different natures, such crises highlight the vulnerability of global social and economic structures and illustrate the effects of global trade on regions and people. The implementation of sustainability goals at international, national and regional levels is not only an efficient and impact-driven response to such crises, but also a guarantee for reducing related inequities. Employing a global sustainability strategy must thus be a central part of the ongoing endeavour to respond to current crises not only by fixing problems at hand but also strengthening resilience.

From a supply chain perspective, as important as the development of regional economic and environmental cycle-oriented approaches are, it does not lead to more resilience if their development is not carried out from a global and sustainable perspective. The aim should be to create humane, sustainable and transparent supply chains that are capable of ensuring a reliable supply of basic needs and services even in the events of sudden changes in framework conditions and crises.

The discussion paper “Sustainable Supply Chains: Global Cooperative Regional Economies for Prosperity and Resilience” outlines a future scenario of globally cooperative and cycle-oriented regional economies that fundamentally reduce global inequalities in opportunities and the quality of life, while at the same time protecting and preserving the environment.

The discussion paper, which is a collaborative work of the CSCP, the Wuppertal Institute and Sustainabill, is published as part of the Future Impulses (Zukunftsimpulse) series.

You can download the paper here.

For further questions, please contact Cristina Fedato.