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How Will Sustainability Evolve In The Coming Years?

As outsourcing trends grow and companies continue to decentralize, the ability to control and manage one's supply chain becomes increasingly difficult. To add to this imperative, businesses are facing increased pressure to adopt comprehensive sustainability measures.

This latter point is made more difficult due to the fact that most of an organization's carbon footprint stems from indirect emissions at various points throughout its supply chains.

A recent study by the Carbon Trust Advisory found 40 percent of multinational corporations are taking steps toward addressing indirect carbon emissions from their overall supply chain.

"If 2011 saw organizations starting to address this area, 2012 will see more widespread action as companies recognize that reducing carbon in supply chains is an effective way to improve business efficiency as well as enhance environmental performance," writes High Jones, managing director of the CTA, for Environmental Leader.

While the group expects this figure to rise to 84 percent over the next three years, the ability to visibly gauge and influence sustainability efforts will become increasingly difficult.

Public awareness and expectations of other businesses to meet environmental goals are also likely to increase, thereby becoming a factor in product differentiation and buying decisions, Jones added.

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