Supermarket giant Tesco is pushing the limits of supply chain engagement and responsibility with its new Buying Club initiative, which helps its suppliers acquire energy saving lighting technology at bargain prices. Companies often set sustainability standards for their suppliers but do little to help them become more environmentally or socially responsible. Tesco’s initiative breaks this mold and reveals a new way forward for corporate social responsibility that is characterized by more dynamic business-to-business relationships.
According to BSR’s most recent State of Sustainable Business Poll, achieving sustainability throughout the supply chain remains one of the top sustainability challenges for companies. While many organizations are engaging with suppliers to set sustainability goals, far fewer are taking steps to help them cut their emissions, or improve other aspects of their operations. Through the Buying Club initiative, Tesco is bringing together its suppliers and enabling them to use their combined buying power to obtain discounted rates on energy efficient lighting technology. The plan is estimated to save suppliers up to 25% off equipment, leading to estimated 80% savings on energy bills.
Results from a trial operation have already confirmed the effectiveness of the initiative. Companies attempting to improve their overall sustainability should look to Tesco’s initiative as a model of how to confront a lack of sustainability in their supply chains. Those that do so may find that there is substantial opportunity for progress.
For more information on Tesco’s Buying Club, visit: http://www.tescoplc.com/index.asp?pageid=137&tiletype=update&id=873