Assess the health and resilience of key socio-ecological systems
To ensure the resilience of your value chain, you need to understand key environmental and social trends in the contexts where your value chain partners operate. Begin by recognising the larger systems - like communities, ecosystems, or watersheds. Understand their current conditions and stability thresholds, such as the points at which water withdrawal in a catchment may lead to water scarcity, wealth inequality may spark community unrest, or social conditions may contribute to forced labour or slavery.¹ You could use various resources - internal and external insights, local community knowledge, scientific research, and third-party data. With a clear scope, key indicators, and reliable data, you could spot trends and risks and then strategise to address these issues effectively.²
EXAMPLE: Apple Water Risk
Apple uses tools like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Risk Filter and WRI's Water Risk Atlas to deliver detailed, location-specific profiles of water consumption and related risks, helping to formulate effective strategies for areas identified as high water risk, which account for roughly 46% of Apple's corporate water use.³
EXAMPLE: SABMiller conducts a study to understand the sustainability impacts of its barley supply chain in India.
SABMiller studied barley farming's environmental and social impacts when facing water scarcity in Rajasthan, India. The findings, highlighting the intertwined nature of water, food, and energy security, guided a more comprehensive approach to assisting farmers in its barley program.⁴