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Sustainable supply chain management

Food and drink manufacturers procure a number of supplies, particularly ingredients, responsible for the generation of significant environmental impacts. Frontrunner manufacturers, especially larger ones, thanks to their purchasing influence, are in a position not only to improve the impacts of their products and processes, but also those of their suppliers.

This best practice examines three ways that frontrunners manage their supply chain to be more sustainable by choosing one or more of the following approaches:

  1. green procurement, i.e. selecting suppliers that fulfill identified environmental performance criteria. The environmental performance criteria used in green procurement may be based on certifications, standards, green (eco) labels, private initiatives/cooperation or the results of sustainability assessments developed internally or externally.
  2. adapting recipes to remove unsustainable ingredients,
  3. supporting existing suppliers in improving their environmental performance.

This best practice is also addressed to all the food and drink manufacturers that use substantial amounts of water as an ingredient. For these manufacturers, the best practice advises to firstly assess the risks posed by the production site to the local water resources and later on to put in place a water resource sustainability programme, which details specific actions to support the preservation of the local water resources.

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