Putting the value chain to the test: the sustainability performance is what counts

Oct 17, 2023

Well to Wheel

Where makes the difference between individual aspects and a comprehensive overview? A striking illustration of this is the example of electric vehicles (EV). The manufacturers report local emission-free consumption, which is the truth, supports the OEMs' ambitions and makes customers happy, but focuses only on one partial aspect. And therefore does not represent the whole truth. How much energy and how many resources are really used in production, after all? From sourcing raw materials, logistics, manufacturing, and sales to reusing or recycling. This is why “Well to Wheel” provides a comprehensive overview of the EV — and a prime example of supply chain management.

Taking responsibility along the entire supply chain

This situation is unfolding against an international backdrop: the German law on due diligence in the supply chain, for example, requires large enterprises to ensure that social and environmental standards are met along their supply chain. The equivalent on the EU level (Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD)) is already in preparation and will go into effect no later than 2025 — and further raise the stakes. This is how regional legislation has a global impact. Large and small suppliers across the world have to comply with the guidelines if they want to work with companies in Germany or import products into the EU. Therefore it’s not only the big players who are affected. Because they have to provide information to complete the supply chain puzzle. In brief: the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan is making sustainable products the standard in the EU. And other economic powers are following the example: China has defined strict targets concerning the circular economy in its 14th five-year plan and the United States is also increasing the pressure to make companies’ supply chains more sustainable. This is why the value chains of many companies are being put to the test, and for good reason: they must take responsibility for their supply chain and the products along its entirety, with audits, code of conduct and compliance regulations providing the proof of concept. Customers as well as consumers appreciate this and make everyone involved in the value chain their partner of choice.

Sustainability thanks to methodology and expertise

As experts for supply chain assessment, DEKRA has developed methods to assess the cultural congruence between companies and potential contractors — standards that provide insights into the company’s culture around safety and sustainability. Particularly when it comes to tenders, the data collected can help make informed decisions on issues that impact not only sustainability and safety culture, but also productivity and efficiency. Facing increasingly complex supply chains, it is becoming more and more challenging for companies, often operating in a network of dependencies, to develop and maintain a sustainability culture. More than ever, they need a strong partner by their side to do that.

Company culture provides the basis

The path to supply chain management is an endeavor with multiple variables. What motivates the client? Which values take priority? The company’s culture provides the basis for in-depth conversations, and follow-up analyses and consultations complete the picture. The mix of tailored surveys and personal exchanges provides data to assess how much the company culture matches the organization’s vision. DEKRA is familiar with legislation, the various industries, and the challenges. We are experienced in conducting audits, composing and implementing standards, and in all matters concerning supply chain management. “DEKRA offers a unique perspective on safety and sustainability culture as well as the assessment of supply chains. With clear goals: due diligence, compliance with requirements, minimizing risks, improving one’s image, securing the supply chain all the while serving as a role model — a “partner of choice.” What does that take? A new mindset and an unconditional willingness to contribute to sustainability.
Services concerning a sustainable supply chain
  • Consultation and assessment of sustainability criteria*
  • Auditing the sustainable supply chain
  • Second-party audits for Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Development and assessment of customer-specific SHEQ and CSR standards
  • Verification of social and labor standards
  • Certification according to the Safety Culture Ladder (SCL)
  • ISCC certification
  • DEKRA Supply Chain Risk Assessment
  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) / consultations about circular economy
  • Supply Chain Management implementation and audits
  • Social standards — development, implementation, auditing
* As a reliable and independent partner, DEKRA strictly separates consultation and certification services provided to customers