Framingham, Mass. Manufacturers that are achieving sustainability improvements are also reducing costs and increasing profits, according to a new study from IDC Manufacturing Insights. The research is based on IDC’s Global Performance Index of 800+ publicly-traded companies and manufacturing companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.
The market researcher has released two studies on sustainability services and business benefits of sustainability. The first, Vendor Assessment: Sustainability Strategy Services Guide for Manufacturers, provides technology services buyers with an analysis of 14 large professional service firms that provide strategy-level sustainability services to manufacturers. The report also identifies the decision-making criteria for selection.
The study finds that the most important factors in the vendor selection process includes investments to incorporate a comprehensive sustainability evaluation into services they already offer such as adding carbon trade-offs to supply chain assessments or more comprehensive life-cycle assessment or eco-design in product life-cycle management projects.
Other factors include deep expertise in regional regulations or publicly influenced sustainability practices in a specific region, strong knowledge of industry dynamics, and the ability to perform environmental audits or reviews using globally recognized standards such as GRI with feedback or recommendations of company or industry best practices.
The second report, Seeing the Business Benefits of Sustainability: Revenue, Profit, and Inventory Management, indicates that while current sustainability offerings are still emerging, vendors can still help manufacturers move faster toward green initiatives, allowing them to yield revenue growth as well as considerable cost savings.
The research is aimed at vendors, services providers, and systems integrators to help them make informed decisions about green IT services and to help end users understand what other manufacturers are doing in sustainability, how they compare, and how to make strategic and informed vendor selections, said IDC.
As the sustainability services market expands, IDC Manufacturing Insights recommends that as manufacturers evaluate service providers they should ensure the vendor’s team has a deep knowledge of the firm’s specific industry segment within manufacturing, as well as knowledge of the regulations in the regions the company operates, including the locations of suppliers and customers.
In the short term, IDC says manufacturers should evaluate a vendor’s sustainability services in the context of what is needed today, and in the longer term, they should evaluate a vendor based on how sustainability is incorporated into many of its traditional offerings.