Upstream Value Chain

The upstream part of your value chain includes all of the materials, people and environmental factors that contribute to your product and service.

Considering the social and environmental performance of your suppliers and their products when you are mapping and managing your value chain can help you find opportunities to add value and to reduce the risks for you and your suppliers.

Businesses commonly focus on three areas to improve the sustainability of their upstream value chain: sustainable procurement, traceability and product design.

Example of a retailer's upstream value chain

Upstream value chain

  Procurement

Sustainable procurement is a hugely important part of managing any business's value chain as it is often where a business can have the most influence or control.

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  Traceability

Demonstrating the chain of custody is becoming a key advantage for businesses as consumers and other stakeholders expect more transparency on social and environmental issues.

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  Modular Design

How your product and its packaging is designed greatly influences how it will be used, reused and recycled.

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