Identify your direct value chain partners
Use your procurement data to identify your most relevant categories with high potential for sustainability improvement, keeping in mind factors like revenue and procurement spend, as well as strategic priorities and sustainability interests.³ Identify your direct suppliers for these top categories, key customers, and end users. This information, including site locations and activities, can be visualised with a map or diagram to help you understand your value chain.⁴ If there are known high-risk regions or suppliers, you will also want to prioritise them at this stage. While software can help⁵, combining tools and stakeholder engagement often provides a more comprehensive picture.
EXAMPLE: Campbell Soup Company commodity mapping
Campbell’s first mapping effort⁶ focused on identifying hotspots in their supply chain for sustainability risk related to 14 priority ingredients sourced from 5 countries. Campbell’s expanded their second mapping effort to 30 ingredients and added detail by including human rights, governance, and water metrics.
EXAMPLE: Patagonia's transparent supply chain mapping
Patagonia engaged in an effort to map its supply chain and provide transparency on product origins. Leveraging technology, data entry, and intensive collaboration, they have created an interactive online platform ⁷ that locates factories globally, providing customers with better insights into the manufacturing journey of each product.⁸
EXAMPLE: Mapping against the SDGs
Heineken's 'Barley to Bar' strategy⁹ maps its entire value chain against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of their Brew a Better World initiative. This method covers sustainable agriculture practices, human rights risks to smallholder farmers, the commitment to net-zero emissions by 2030, environmentally conscious packaging, optimised distribution, and customer-focused initiatives promoting responsible drinking and transparency.
EXAMPLE: Mapping sustainability: an innovative approach to transparent cocoa sourcing
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate boosts supply chain sustainability via its Cargill Cocoa Promise Sourcing Partner Network¹⁰. This interactive map discloses the locations of direct sourcing partners across Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Cameroon. Leveraging GPS and satellite technology in partnership with organisations like the World Resources Institute, the initiative aims to increase transparency and tackle issues like deforestation and child labour in the cocoa industry.