Building a sustainable value chain

We're living in a world where consumers, funders and investors are increasingly making decisions based on environmental and social factors. They have a much more sophisticated understanding of the effects of products and services. Businesses are now regularly held to account for impacts across their entire value chain.

This online guide is a practical process to help you identify the risks and the many opportunities along your product or service's value chain.

Inside this guide you will find the information and resources you need to assist and inspire you.

WBCSD President Peter Bakker on why value chain thinking is vital for business.

About the guide: Toyota, Wellington Zoo and SBC discuss the benefits.

A 'value chain' refers to the full life cycle of a product or process including material sourcing, production, consumption and disposal/recycling process.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The 6 Steps

Follow this six-step guide to build sustainability into your company's value chain.

Identify the focus of your assessment and gather data to help you draw up a value chain map.

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Review the environmental, social and economic impacts at each stage of your value chain to identify the risks and opportunities.

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Prioritise the issues for your business based on the risks and opportunities you have identified.

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Once the most pressing issues have been assessed you need to identify the options for dealing with them.

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Introduce good planning when implementing change to lead better outcomes and successes.

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Create a successful sustainable value chain by changing your organisational focus to make this a normal part of your business.

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What are the benefits?

  • Lower operational, reputational and regulatory risks to your business.
  • Provide a point of difference and competitive advantage.
  • Realise opportunities for innovation.
  • Fuel top-line growth and enhance productivity through efficiencies.
  • Create new markets for products or services.
  • Reduce resource consumption and waste.
  • Improve relationships and resilience through greater security of supply.
  • Create shared value with communities (enhancing social licence to operate).
  • Improve access to finance and lower-cost insurance.
  • Enhance stakeholder relationships through better understanding.

Contributing Members