More than two-thirds of CEOs in the United States and the United Kingdom say they are concerned about the emergence of human rights issues in their supply chains, according to a recent survey by procurement and supply chain consulting firm Proxima, released this week.
Proxima’s 2023 Supply Chain Barometer surveyed 2,000 CEOs in both regions—1,000 in the U.S. and 1,000 in the U.K.—and found that 70% listed human or labor rights as a key supply chain concern. The problem arises at a time when more CEOs are focused on supply chain issues; more than half of respondents (53%) said they expect to spend more time on those issues over the next 12 months.
“Addressing human rights issues across the supply chain is a huge challenge for businesses and it is clearly high up on the agenda for CEOs,” Simon Geale, executive vice president and chief procurement officer at Proxima, said in a statement announcing the findings July 6. “We’ve seen a number of businesses fall victim to human rights issues, and as we see increased scrutiny from customers and regulators, supply chain transparency is going to become increasingly critical.”
Nearshoring their supply chains, inflation, and sustainability will also be major issues for CEOs over the next 12 months:
The survey found that more CEOs are focused on onshoring or nearshoring all or part of their supply chains compared to last year, especially in the U.S. About a quarter of CEOs said they had actively looked at onshoring or nearshoring last year, compared to 45% and 39%, respectively, of U.S. CEOs who said so this year.
Roughly 36% of U.S. CEOs said they will consider job cuts as a way to address inflation, compared to 27% who said so last year.
Just over one-third of U.S. CEOs said they have a formal business plan for decarbonization, and 34% said they have begun strategic collaboration conversations with their suppliers.
The 2023 Barometer is based on responses from 2,000 CEOs from companies that employ at least 50 people, according to Proxima.