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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Sustainable Christmas


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Sustainable Christmas

If we thought last year would be a tricky year for Father Christmas, we didn’t anticipate the supply chain challenges 2021 would give him. Throughout the year there has been global supply chain disruption, warnings of cross sector shortages, and unexpected challenges such as the Suez Canal blockage, that would give even the best supply chain manager pause for thought. We’ve already identified that Father Christmas is the ultimate global supply chain manager. But what has he been thinking about and implementing since January 1st 2021, to ensure that he’s running a sustainable and resilient supply chain to effectively deliver this year’s Christmas stockings on time?

Data: Father Christmas runs the original data driven business. Using the data he gets with every child sending a list, then checking it twice, he’ll have an idea what the must have gifts are this year. This allows him to plan ahead when sourcing his products and toy parts.

A view of his supply chain: with thousands of years’ experience in the delivery business, Father Christmas has a complete view of his supplier base, and the insights necessary to access a whole range of alternative and prequalified suppliers.

Practicing sustainability for effective procurement: recent Achilles data indicates that 52% of businesses still don’t have a carbon reduction strategy in place. This data also shows that 40% of companies agree that finding sustainable suppliers is their biggest challenge in procurement, but for millennia Santa has been ethically sourcing his toys and gifts from across the world, as well as limiting his carbon footprint by manufacturing on site, so he’s a key advocate for sustainable procurement and the benefits of nearshoring. According to IQAir, Finland, where Christmas HQ is located, has the fifth cleanest air quality in the world. Santa must be one of Finland’s largest manufacturers and employers, we think he’ll be on board with Finland’s stretching environmental targets as the country aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Making sure his employment practices are ethical: last year, we investigated whether Santa’s workshop would pass the scrutiny of an Achilles Labour Practice Audit. COVID19, together with the secrecy of his Lapland operation means that we’ve struggled to get an Achilles Auditor to do an onsite audit and interview elf employees, but fingers crossed we can report back on that next year.

So, with all that has been going on and all the shortages predicted, we believe that Father Christmas has been practicing many of the recommendations the team at Achilles have been enabling Buyers and Suppliers to put in place to ensure security of supply. But, until the early hours of Christmas morning, we won’t know just how successful this has been.

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