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Beyond supply chains: Empowering responsible value chains

Find out how leading companies are creating a “triple advantage” through supply chains that benefit business, people and the environment.


Instead of focusing exclusively on developing commercial advantage, leading companies are balancing that with two other factors: environmental impact and the supply chain contribution to local economic development. It’s what we call, “the triple advantage,” where value chains support business goals and contribute positively to the socio-economic front.

Accenture and the World Economic Forum joined together to identify 31 supply chain practices that lead to a triple advantage. The result, “Beyond Supply Chain: Empowering Responsible Value Chains.” The research, released at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, also recommends policies for government and business alike that create ethical business approaches.

“Beyond Supply Chains” shows that companies applying the practices outlined in the report can increase revenue up to 20 percent for responsible products, reduce supply chain costs from 9 to 16 percent and increase brand value by 15 to 30 percent. And adopting the triple advantage can shrink carbon footprint by up to 22 percent while enabling companies to contribute to local development.

Key Findings

Leading companies are moving from pure efficiency or service-driven supply chain strategies to more holistic concepts which drive profitability and socio-environmental benefits simultaneously. Today, implementing responsible supply chains is a must for all other companies as well. Doing so promises significant competitive (triple) advantage and higher business performance. Conversely, if neglected, companies face the risk of being left out of the game when market demands change.

Beyond Supply Chains identifies a comprehensive set of 31 proven practices, underpinned by industry examples that provide guidance for companies looking to codify their own specific portfolio of triple advantage improvement measures. And the report offers a decision framework that prioritizes the identified practices by their potential to create triple advantage.


There are three things companies can do to pursue more responsible supply chains and create a triple advantage:

  • Take a long-term perspective when prioritizing sustainability initiatives in your supply chain. A decision framework supports you in defining the right scope.

  • Build a clear value case for the planned investment and use it to market the initiative within your organization. Value dashboards will help unveil multiple value levers.

  • Finally, ensure a strong sponsorship behind the supply chain initiatives as well as value tracking capabilities, which will help you maximize the triple advantage.

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