By linking pricing to independently verified sustainability criteria, treasurers can use supply chain finance (SCF) as a way to promote environmental, social and governance goals both internally and throughout their supplier networks. Here, Julle Pedersen, Treasury Director for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMIA), Bridgestone, shares the inside track on achieving precisely this sustainable SCF arrangement.
With sustainability-linked funding and investment options becoming increasingly familiar tools for corporate treasurers, SCF stands out as an obvious area where sustainability and finance can meet. This approach made complete sense for Pedersen, since Bridgestone considers sustainability to be part of its DNA.
As a global leader in advanced solutions and sustainable mobility, Bridgestone sees environmental, social and governance (ESG) as “core in our strategy and culture,” Pedersen explains. The company’s sustainability strategy is driven by its framework ‘Our Way to Serve’. It aims to improve the way people live, work, move and play by focusing on mobility, people and environment.
Sustainable SCF reinforces these aims and was a natural fit for Bridgestone. But finding the right way to implement such a solution took a little research on Pedersen’s behalf. He comments: “We started thinking about implementing SCF around two years ago. During that exploratory phase, I could not find a case study from a company that had leveraged external ratings as part of their sustainable SCF programme. Up until that point, most leading initiatives I’d heard of were internally rated and somewhat subjective. We already had our global sustainable procurement policy endorsed by business sustainability ratings firm EcoVadis, and I realised we could link the two together so everything began to take shape from there.”