The key to making tangible procress was to understand where suppliers were in their own sustainability journeys and identify their barriers to improvement. This enabled the retailer to provide tailored support and create appropriate action plans for suppliers.
The retailer's plastics and packaging pledge (created in 2019) has three requirements for packaging:
- To be 100% recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable by 2025
- Plastics must contain 20% recycled content by 2025
- Clear recycling communications, including QR codes by 2022
However, suppliers were not fully aware of what they needed to do in order to support the retailer achieve their sustainable packaging goals.
Supply Pilot helped the US retailer re-energise their pledge and engage suppliers with a communication, education, and data gathering programme. The challenge was split into manageable stages to overcome the complexity of the multi-faceted program and built a clear roadmap for successfully delivering their 2022 and 2025 goals.
A supplier engagement campaign was constructed using Supply Pilot's Six-Step Process, which began with targeting the right supplier contacts for the subject matter and carrying out a supplier readiness survey. This survey helped the retailer segment their supply base based on their current sustainable packaging awareness and activities.
Packaging improvements also require detailed data to make the right decisions and suppliers must have the right capabilities to make the changes. Working together with the retailer's packaging and compliance reporting specialists, Supply Pilot outlined relevant survey questions and used the Supply Pilot Platform as the basis for fast data gathering and analysis.
This enabled them to:
- Ensure suppliers understood the pledge
- Check if suppliers were able to fulfil the requirements
- Understand where suppliers were relative to the 2025 goal and establish a benchmark to demonstrate progress and deliver on commitments
Supply Pilot’s approach ensured that supplier engagement was maximised with a final response rate of over 90%. This is well above the industry average engagement levels of around 25% for these types of activities.
Supply Pilot’s analysis really highlighted which suppliers most needed our support to transition their packaging and meet our sustainable packaging goals. Without this, our approach would have been much less focused and efficient. With Supply Pilot, we are able to provide the level of support that our suppliers and our ambitious goals really needed to be successful.
Packaging Sustainability Director