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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

February 2020 – Ian Ellison, Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, sets out the six megatrends that are disrupting traditional supply chains and what you need to know to future-proof your supply chain.

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Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, businesses have been refining their trading relationships with customers and suppliers. The onset of globalisation brought with it supply chains that were busier, longer and more complex than ever before, while in recent years increased consumer awareness and rapid advances in technology have brought about a host of new challenges. From traceability and human rights violations to safeguarding supply chains against political and environmental disruption, supply chain management is an increasingly complex and challenging task. However, leading businesses and disruptive innovators are seeing opportunity in these challenges, harnessing the latest technology to improve business performance and sustainability.

Find out more about the megatrends influencing and disrupting traditional supply chains:

  1. Blockchain transformation
  2. From linear to circular
  3. Climate change resilience
  4. The social impact imperative
  5. Digital disruption
  6. Surviving sudden shocks




Download the report for free and find out more about CISL's Sustainable Supply Chain Management online short course.

About the author

Ian Ellison is a Senior Associate at CISL and course convenor of the Supply Chain Management online course. Ian has previously worked in various director-level roles in the aerospace and defence sector, focusing particularly on sustainable development, procurement, and eco-efficiency. He is extensively educated as a chartered engineer, chartered management accountant, chartered global accountant, and chartered IT professional. He also holds a Masters Degree in Sustainability and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business.


The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL.



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