The path towards a transparent supply chain

Supply chains can be complex and for the German Supply Chain Act, in addition to environmental factors, social factors are also relevant for evaluation and assessment, such as the protection of human rights and the recognition of labor standards. To get a full overview of our supply chain, we addressed the following questions: Which criteria are relevant to us and how can we make them measurable? How and under what criteria do we want to collaborate with others?
We developed our supply chain criteria based on our VAST GREEN principles, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the German Supply Chain Act, and our expertise in the digital sector.

In the “Transparent Supply Chain” working group, we took a deeper look at our corporate environment and multi-layered internal processes in 2021, based on the German Supply Chain Act. VAST FORWARD is a small corporation and it was eye-opening to learn how profoundly change processes depend on knowledge of corporate interdependencies. By assessing and prioritizing our supply chain criteria, we have outlined our status quo, but also defined initial relevant criteria for our customers, partners and suppliers. 2022 will be a continuation of the working groups from 2021 and will focus, among other things, on our stakeholder approach.

We considered the following criteria when evaluating our supply chains (they are self-defined criteria based on the ESG criteria and supported by the SDGs):

  • Internal labor relations (SDG 5 & 8)
  • Software development (SDG 9)
  • Business travel (SDG 13 & 11)
  • Telecommunications (SDG 12, 7, 9)
  • Customers & Agencies (SDG 17 & 9)
  • Banking & Insurance (SDG 17 & 9, EU Taxonomy, EU Directive 2019/2088, BaFin)
  • Service providers (SDG 17, 9, 10, 8, 5)
  • Procurement, Use & Classification of Hardware (9 & 12)
  • Hardware in Use ( SDG 9 & 12)
  • Digital Products (SDG 12)

Stakeholder analysis

VAST FORWARD is a network agency. Our team consists not only of “management and employees”, but also customers, partners and suppliers have an influence on our business and thus also on our sustainability. In order to assume sustainable responsibility for our corporate actions, it is important to also involve our stakeholders in our strategy implementation. This is an important point, especially for supply chain transparency. At the same time, we see this as a great opportunity for the future and to position ourselves today in a sustainable network.

VAST Impact Invest

“What costs nothing is worth nothing”- from a business perspective, sustainability is certainly an investment that requires a wide range of resources! This awareness has given rise to one of our VAST GREEN principles of targeted and effective investing. Involving the entire team in the implementation of our VAST GREEN initiative is also an investment in time and money for our small organization. With the creation of our MEGGY method – an open source approach to the sustainable future of SMEs – we are investing in the development of a stand-alone method. VAST FORWARD is also committed to social and environmental projects through donations and resources: Since 2016, we have supported organizations such as Seawatch, the German Sustainable Business Association, and the Hamburg-based organization Visions for Children, which supports children in crisis and war zones.

“We Do Not Just Compensate”

“VAST FORWARD does not see carbon offsetting as a the key to a truly more sustainable future. To reach the UN’s 1.5 degree target, real change and new strategies that go beyond offsetting CO2 emissions are important. Together with sustainability expert Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl, we have formulated 6 VAST GREEN principles as the basis of our strategy – offsetting CO2 should be a result of our actions, if necessary of changing our processes. As a company, we do not want to outsource our own corporate sustainability, but work together as a VAST GREEN team on the causes: “We Do Not Just Compensate”. In January 2022, we will dedicate ourselves to the topic of “Emissions” in one of our working groups and will work with an external partner to concretely determine our carbon footprint and develop approaches for verifiable minimization. Measuring our “Scope 1,2 & 3” emissions is the basis of our goal to be climate neutral or positive by mid-2022 at the latest.