Due to resource scarcity and yet companies have to increasingly compete for consumers and resources have changed the way companies carry out their businesses. To remain competitive, the companies have to go beyond how they operate. They have to consider opportunities that increase resource efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint across the entire value chain — at the front end, design, manufacturing, and packaging of products, and in the systematic recovery of valuable materials.

Among the methods that Anteja-Africa use to ensure sustainable value chains include:

The product design and packing have an environmental mindset. This includes the material inputs. The design aspect of the value chain network should realize value chain sustainability by including the engineering of the product or the package.

To change the status quo, business leaders need to understand what elements of global goals and trade policies are relevant for them and how sustainability can be used as an opportunity to improve business in an economic, ecologic, and societal way. We are no longer talking about business as usual. Now it is about moving sustainability from being a side activity of the business, towards sustainability in the core business: in strategies, products, supply chains, and relationships.

Top management often has difficulties understanding how development efforts can help the business to build stronger and more resilient value chains. Many see development efforts outside of the business sphere of influence as an issue that society needs to deal with taxpayers’ money. Most business leaders look at value chains solely through a lens of economic and risk parameters, when they evaluate where to source materials from and how to balance cost with delivery performance and flexibility.

Through communication, shared learning, and active support, it is possible to work with value chain partners to improve social, economic, and environmental performance. It is our experience that by connecting and collaborating with stakeholders within a broad value chain network and focusing on improving value chain sustainability, companies will be better positioned to manage risk, engage customers through a new strategic agenda, establish more competitive long-term supplier bases, and build accountability, credibility, and trust.