November 03, 2022
In the Media

David Correll, Principal Investigator for the State of Supply Chain Sustainability, was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal showcasing the work and findings of this year's report—namely, that pressure on firms to strengthen their supply chain sustainability efforts has been sustained and increasing over the last three years. The focus areas of that pressure, however, have shifted each year, with a particular focus this year on environmental dimensions. Here's a brief excerpt of the conversation:

WSJ: What might be the practical implications for companies that don’t take steps to improve supply-chain sustainability?

DR. CORRELL: Supply-chain sustainability efforts are seeking to eliminate the kinds of human-rights scandals and environmental transgressions that can permanently tarnish a brand or can seriously disrupt continuity of supply. Forgoing the opportunity to avert those crises feels risky to me. The second thing is that it’s a missed opportunity to find new ways to create value. Doing better at sustainability involves being closer and sharing information with some of your supply base. There’s value to unlock through supplier development and collaboration in terms of innovation and resilience.


WSJ: Can you outline a few actions by third parties that could help companies improve supply-chain sustainability efforts?

DR. CORRELL: Investors are far and away the fastest-growing driver of sustainability pressure that our respondents report. Public commitment to sustainability and commitment to ESG by major investors can move the needle. Our respondents clearly report that especially in the last year they’ve felt the pressure most acutely from their investors.


WSJ: Do you expect interest in sustainability, in general, will continue to grow, and in particular, do you expect the focus on environmental sustainability to continue? 

DR. CORRELL: I don’t see any reason it will slow down. At least forecasting out one year, I really think energy and climate are going to be more top of mind to consumers and regulators and, quite importantly, to investors, especially with what’s been happening in the world, including the possibility that Europe will go through the winter without Russian hydrocarbons.

Reflecting the sustained awareness and pressure for more sustainable supply chains across firms, MITx has launched a new online course, Sustainable Supply Chain Management – SCM.290x, in which Correll is an instructor. SCM.290x is free to enroll in and is instructor-paced, running over nine weeks from Nov. 9 to Jan. 17, 2023.