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Van Obergen, Anouk, 2023. Supplier engagement for biodiversity : current situation and views. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



This research focuses on supplier engagement for biodiversity and how this is currently viewed and utilized by companies. Biodiversity loss is a topic that has long been on the agenda, but only recently in combination with businesses. When it comes to a company’s biodiversity impact, research has shown that the largest proportion of impact comes from activities throughout the supply chain and only a small proportion comes from activities from the company itself. Therefore, businesses are starting to focus on supplier engagement to lower their impact throughout the supply chain. Supplier engagement can be seen as a pledge or commitment; it is the level of commitment a supplier has to a company’s brand, values, and goals. Suppliers focus their energy and expertise to not just support but drive progress towards a brand’s goals. Employees from seven companies that focus on supplier engagement or sustainability were interviewed for this research from different sectors, different sizes, and different locations. The results showed that currently, the interviewees do want to utilize supplier engagement for biodiversity but they struggle with the knowledge gap of how to do this. There are no frameworks or standards available to measure one’s biodiversity impact which makes it difficult for companies to choose an area of focus. They are unaware of what are the most important aspects and therefore do not know how to substantially lower their negative impact on biodiversity. Therefore, many companies do not incorporate supplier engagement for biodiversity yet even though the interviewees see this as a key response to biodiversity loss. Moreover, there are some differences between large and small firms in that smaller organizations tend to focus on more informal ways of supplier engagement, looking at good relationships and educating suppliers. Larger organizations often have more rigid structures in place with minimum requirements, guidelines, and rules for their suppliers while also working with them on a more personal level. This can be related to the fact that smaller firms have less power over their supply chain and their impact is smaller. The findings from this thesis simultaneously show reasons to be optimistic and pessimistic when it comes to supplier engagement for biodiversity. The interviewees all realized the importance of supplier engagement for biodiversity but simultaneously the companies have not implemented it yet and are waiting for biodiversity frameworks to help them in mapping their impacts. Therefore, the focus of researchers and policy makers should be on frameworks, assisting smaller firms, and creating awareness surrounding the topic of supplier engagement for biodiversity.

Main title:Supplier engagement for biodiversity
Subtitle:current situation and views
Authors:Van Obergen, Anouk
Supervisor:Fischer, Harry
Examiner:Oskarsson, Patrik
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Biodiversity, supply chain management, supplier engagement, sustainability, supply chain
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Deposited On:28 Jun 2023 09:43
Metadata Last Modified:29 Jun 2023 01:05

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