As the New Year has rolled around it’s a great time to start looking at improvements we can make on our business practices. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a perfect place to start if you are trying to achieve a more just and equal supply chain, and eliminate potential risks for women and all people. So for the year 2024, here is some advice for creating a more sustainable and equitable business!

Collecting information about your supply chain is a great way to start. This will involve analysing your supplier’s policies and practices. This will essentially be a ‘map’ of your supply chain, requiring some collaboration from your suppliers. The kind of information that you want pertains to women and their role in the companies. For example, how many businesses in your supply chain are owned by women? How many women have management or leadership positions? In terms of policy there are things to consider such as maternity leave, sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, equal pay and more. If you can gather as much information from your suppliers about these issues, then you are beginning to enact gender responsive procurement. Meaning you are viewing, and mapping, your supply chain using a gender lens and seeing the impact on and opportunities for women. 

Once you have a better understanding of your supply chain, here is where you can set goals. These goals should be specific to your business and supply chain needs, but support the SDGs. So when thinking about gender equality, look towards SDG 5, which concerns gender equality specifically. Non discriminatory behavior, policies that protect women from violence, opportunities for women to grow into leadership roles. These are things you can aim for when creating goals and targets. Either for the next few months, end of the year, or longer term goals over the next few years. 

Next is enacting your goals. See what is available to improve your sustainably. Maybe a local, woman owned supplier. Or see how you can work with your existing suppliers to improve their sustainability goals, and the relationship overall. These processes will take time, but what better time to start than the new year.

Happy New Year!