The Ripple Effect: Cascade Science-Based Targets Through Your Supply Chain

Discover the 'ripple effect' in corporate sustainability. Leading companies like AstraZeneca and Philips are setting benchmarks, creating waves of change throughout their supply chains. Dive in to see how cascading targets are reshaping the climate landscape.

The Ripple Effect: Cascade Science-Based Targets Through Your Supply Chain
Photo by Sabri Tuzcu / Unsplash

Imagine a single drop creating ripples that spread across an entire pond. Now, envision businesses setting sustainability benchmarks that cascade throughout their vast supply chains, creating a transformative ripple effect. Dive into how leading corporations are harnessing this power to drive monumental change in the fight against climate change.

In today's rapidly changing climate landscape, businesses are recognizing the importance of not just their direct operations but also the broader impact of their supply chains. The ripple effect, a term that aptly describes the cascading influence one action can have, is particularly relevant when discussing the implementation of science-based targets (SBTs) throughout supply chains.

The Power of Collaboration in the Pharma World

The pharmaceutical industry, known for its life-saving medications and treatments, is now stepping up to address its environmental footprint, particularly within its supply chain. A shining example of this is the Health Systems Task Force, a coalition of pharmaceutical giants, including industry leaders such as AstraZeneca. This task force has come together to set ambitious sustainability targets for their suppliers, emphasizing the industry's dedication to sustainability and challenging suppliers to align with these ambitious goals. Their collaborative efforts send a powerful message, driving innovation and setting new industry standards.

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"If I'm speaking to a thousand suppliers and they speak to a thousand of their suppliers, that's a million suppliers in two conversations."

Rob Williams, Director for Sustainable Procurement at AstraZeneca.

Key Steps to Accelerate Supply Chain Climate Action

  1. Leverage Buying Power for Transparency: Leading companies are requesting environmental disclosures from their suppliers. This transparency is crucial for managing Scope 3 emissions, which often dwarf direct operational emissions.
  2. Set Clear Expectations with Suppliers: Beyond just data collection, companies must set clear expectations for emissions reduction. This proactive engagement ensures suppliers are not just compliant but are also active participants in the decarbonization journey.
  3. Cascade Science-Based Targets: Science-based carbon emissions reduction targets are the gold standard. Major corporations are encouraging their suppliers to adopt these targets, ensuring alignment with global goals to limit warming.
  4. Join Forces for Greater Impact: Collaboration amplifies the impact. By joining forces, companies can push suppliers to set their own ambitious targets, accelerating the transition to a more sustainable future.

"We are now aiming for at least 50% of our suppliers based on spend committing to science-based targets for carbon footprint reduction by 2025"

Tom Scholz, Supplier Sustainability Manager at Philips.


The ripple effect of cascading science-based targets through supply chains has the potential to bring about significant change. By setting ambitious targets, engaging suppliers, and leveraging collaborations, companies can drive meaningful progress towards a sustainable future.

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