Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply vs. greenwashing

By Helen Adams
Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply announces deadline to tackle greenwashing and calls on businesses to end sustainability half-truths

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply has strongly advised UK businesses to end a culture of ‘sustainability half-truths’ and engage with their suppliers to fully understand and communicate their environmental impact.


Supply Chain managers surveyed 

Much of the UK’s environmental impact is generated abroad, several tiers down the supply chain in:

  • The extraction of raw materials
  • Manufacturing of products
  • Transportation

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply has shown that out of 318 UK supply chain managers: 

  • 19% do not even know how sustainable their products are themselves 
  • Only 5% of supply chain managers felt their business actively mislead clients or customers about sustainability
  • 48% of supply chain managers did not believe their organisation was transparent enough with consumers, clients and regulators about sustainability. 


Supply chain’s environmental impact is a ‘messy reality’

Malcolm Harrison, Group CEO of Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply said he was keen for those working in the supply chain to involve procurement teams in their sustainability strategy.

“There is a culture of ‘simplify to sell’ when it comes to sustainability claims which has to end”, said Harrrison. “This move from the CMA should go some way to ensuring businesses understand and address the messy reality of their environmental impact throughout their supply chain. Modern supply chains are long, complex and travel through many countries around the world, so most businesses’ environmental impacts are not immediately visible. The CMA’s new Green Claims Code is a step forward in ensuring that more businesses involve procurement teams in their sustainability strategy. Measuring carbon footprint is not the only key indicator when reporting sustainability impact and supply chain managers are the professionals capable of tracking a product’s environmental impact through the product life cycle. With the CMA review into greenwashing starting in 2022, businesses need to ensure their procurement teams verify any sustainability claims to ensure the business is not being misleading or untruthful about the environmental impact of their products.”



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