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More companies are looking to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, according to a new survey from Avetta, a provider of supply chain risk management software.

The survey found that 79 percent of companies consider employee health and safety very important and 63 percent said reducing environmental footprint is very important. The findings are included in Avetta’s technical paper, Extending ESG Best Practices into the Supply Chain: A Review of Leading Organization Approaches.

According to the paper, 25 percent of respondents plan to make ESG supply chain issues a part of their organization’s program. The surveyed companies represent a variety of industries such as facilities management, chemicals, construction, utilities, telecommunications, transport, manufacturing, and food and beverages.

The pandemic has actually increased the importance of supply chains for many corporations because 90 percent of their environmental footprint has been pushed into their supply chain. 

“Avetta is excited to help our clients grow their supply chains to be greener, more diverse and more inclusive,” said Arshad Matin, company president and CEO. “Our data shows that over a 10-year period, suppliers in our network experience a 7 percent to 12 percent year-over-year decrease in safety incidents. We look forward to continuing this successful trend in the ESG market.”

Matin led Avetta to join more than 9,500 companies in 145 countries that signed the United Nations Global Compact in 2020, committing to ethical business practices, transparency and protecting human rights.

The survey also found that 87 percent of respondents say ESG in the supply chain is important — of which, 39 percent marked it as very important.

"While companies recognize the importance of achieving sustainable outcomes, they are less likely to recognize that most of that impact is in their supply chain. This reinstates that supply chain sustainability should be integrated into the company’s broader ESG architecture and not be isolated with the sole oversight of supply chain or procurement functions,” concluded the paper.