Sustainability, Supply Chain, and Leveraging Social Media

Insights from RILA's LINK2020

This is a guest blog post by Jeff Ashcroft of Supply Chain Network.

At the recent RILA LINK2020: Retail Supply Chain Conference in Dallas there were many signs of innovation, progress, and the ongoing accelerating Digital Transformation of Retail Supply Chains. But the key theme that resonated with me at the event was the growing importance of sustainability in all forms as it relates to the retail business and retail supply chains, in particular.

All of you who know me are aware of my longstanding passion for all things environmental dating back to my early retail career at The Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

From the sustainability perspective, the highlight for me of RILA's LINK2020 was most definitely Chip Bergh’s keynote and calls for action around the circular economy.
Many don’t realize that in most companies 75% of their carbon footprint comes from their supply chain, so there’s no doubt when strategizing and attacking sustainability that supply chain has to be key in your efforts.

Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi’s, has now in fact made sustainability a constraint on all innovation programs to help accelerate this key focus of the firm being driven directly by consumer demands for climate action.

One example of this is how Levi’s now manufactures jeans by using "waterless technology," allowing the company to use 96% less water in its denim finishing process.

Additionally, company now uses lasers instead of chemicals to give the jeans a worn-in look, which also gives the potential for both postponement of these SKUs and also interesting on-demand personalization capabilities.

Sustainability is rapidly becoming the new black and as supply chain is a key enabler for attacking the 75% of carbon footprint found in supply chains, the role of supply chain professionals is therefore key in facilitating the move to sustainability.

So this brings us to social media, which is key to activating supply chain professionals to accelerate the move to a circular economy and sustainability.

In order to reach as many supply chain and logistics professionals as possible, it’s key to identify, engage, and leverage as many supply chain influencers as possible to get the word out.

Recently, Sprinklr -( has run analyses including 19 social media data points and channels to identify the most connected in supply chain, both for individuals and organizations.

The below graphic shows the 5 most connected individuals in supply chain and the people I intend to reach out to in order to amplify the sustainability message and key role supply chain professionals can play in order to make the circular economy vision a reality.
The below graphic shows the most connected organizations in supply chain and the companies/entities I intend to reach out to in order to again amplify the sustainability message and get message out to supply chain professionals on the role they can play to drive supply chain sustainability to the next level.
After another interesting and successful RILA LINK: Retail Supply Chain Conference, there’s also no doubt in my mind that the supply chain teams of major retailers have a key role to play and perhaps RILA can help facilitate this mission.

Great to see many of you at this year’s event and look forward to seeing you all again next year at RILA LINK!


Jeff Ashcroft
  • Supply Chain
  • Retail Supply Chain Conference

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter