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Client Story

Global luxury beauty and cosmetics business

Transforming sustainability strategy and governance for global supply chain IT

Sustainability is a key strategic imperative

Our client, a global luxury beauty and cosmetics business, has a diverse and extensive portfolio of high-profile, prestige brands, which are sold in over 150 countries and territories.

The importance of sustainability was growing rapidly for the business, its brands and its consumers. Global Supply Chain (GSC) had a pivotal role to play in delivering the client’s environmental sustainability goals:

  • Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.
  • Reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution and business travel by 60% per unit revenue over the same timeframe.

The company in numbers

$18 Billion

Annual revenues

$79 Billion



Employees worldwide 



IT is a critical enabler of sustainability goals

The GSC IT organization recognized that it was a critical enabler of GSC’s sustainability goals. However, it lacked a clear, cohesive and compelling articulation of its current contribution and how the organization could grow it. Consequently, it struggled to inform and inspire the wider business – or to provide a clear strategic direction to its own people with regard to sustainability.

Berkeley’s significant sustainability experience, both in similar sectors and more broadly, combined with a strong track record of delivery in other high-profile roles at the client, led to GSC IT leadership team asking us to help.

Improving sustainability is a key strategic imperative for our company. In IT, we knew that we were already contributing and had the potential to do much more, but we had struggled to articulate how. Berkeley very quickly integrated into our team and helped bring real clarity to the areas we’re already contributing and what we could do to grow that contribution. What’s more, they strengthened our own internal knowledge and skills in the sustainability space, putting us in a great position to engage our own internal business stakeholders to improve sustainability objective setting, performance management and governance.”

Global Vice President GSC IT

Shining a light on supply chain IT’s existing sustainability achievements

We began by assessing current sustainability contribution and external best practice, and identified that IT was already making a material impact on supply chain sustainability. For example, applying data and analytics could identify production issues more quickly and thereby reduce energy and materials consumption. Process automation was reducing waste, while applying business insight to improve the design of the supply chain network was reducing transportation.

However, because sustainability was not yet fully embedded in scorecard and performance management, these contributions were typically delivered as side benefits. There was no comprehensive tracking, communication or celebration of sustainability achievements.

To address this, we defined five key ways in which IT can accelerate delivery of sustainability ambitions – and highlighted what the client was already doing in each of these areas:

Five key ways IT can enable sustainability

Performance management

Use technology to measure sustainability performance and to change behaviors 

Decision support

Apply technology and data to enable more sustainable business decisions 

Process automation

Automate and integrate processes to make them more sustainable 

Remote collaboration

Apply technology to minimize travel 

Sustainable technology

Maximize sustainability in IT investment and operations 

Defining the future strategic direction on sustainability for supply chain IT

Having articulated the current contribution, we defined maturity models for each of the five key ways IT can contribute to sustainability – and assessed current maturity levels for GSC IT.

Using this as a base, we worked with the client to agree the way forward in three areas:

  • Build foundations. For example, better embed sustainability into metrics, measurement and data ‘DNA’ – and into governance and decision-making processes. 
  • Pursue quick wins. For example, extend existing capabilities to increase contribution, introducing basic gamification to motivate behavior change.
  • Create strategic capabilities. Invest in more strategic capabilities to move up the maturity levels, in areas such as IoT and telematics, more sophisticated analytics (e.g. condition monitoring and predictive maintenance), use of AR and VR to further reduce travel for more technical roles, etc.

Changing supply chain IT governance to make sustainability core to future priority-setting and decision-making

A key part of foundation-building involved supporting the client to reframe current governance and decision-making processes to take sustainability into account. This ranged from generating and prioritizing opportunities and ideas for sustainability improvement, to capturing and quantifying the benefits (e.g. CO2 emissions and carbon pricing), to benefits realization.

As part of this work, we identified and suggested improvements to existing sustainability objectives, metrics and measurement, bringing them in line with best practice.

Building the right sustainability skills and expertise within supply chain IT

We actively helped to build capability and understanding with regard to sustainability within the client team. This included: building an understanding of the importance and urgency of the sustainability imperative; an awareness of the key aspects and drivers of sustainability; and an understanding of how to define, quantify and measure objectives and achievements.

IT can make a massive contribution to sustainability, but it’s essential to look beyond the obvious application of reporting and dashboarding technology – and think about how IT and data can be applied to transform what the organization does and how it does it. It was great to work with a client that is so passionate about accelerating their sustainability agenda and to be able to make such a difference in the way they think about and realize the potential opportunities.”

Mark Bryant, Consultant

Following our work together, GSC IT were in a much stronger position to confidently articulate the contribution IT can make and is already making to corporate sustainability goals – and to increase and accelerate that contribution.