Sustainable Sourcing: Help for small businesses

If you are a smaller business and don't know where to start, try answering these basic questions first:

What are your key raw materials?

  • Identify and rank the most important products to your business i.e. those that are most critical and/or account for the largest expenditure
  • Consider what materials i.e. raw ingredients, water, energy, packaging, transport etc. are required to produce each product and who supplies them

Where do they come from?

  • Do not just consider direct suppliers – think about suppliers all the way back to source
  • Record what amounts are being sourced of each along with countries of origin

How secure is that supply?

  • Focus on materials that present a specific risk to your business continuity or reputation along with any which present an opportunity to gain competitive advantage

What would you do if it fails?

  • Gather information from suppliers on identified risks and potential opportunities to help decide those which are most important to your company


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Last reviewed: 28 Jan 2014