The Intersection of Supply Chain Finance and ESG

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in corporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. A broader cultural shift toward a more socially and environmentally conscious society is motivating shareholders to view the business through an ESG lens and assess the impact of their investments beyond just returns.

For some businesses, ESG is now a matter of compliance. Higher expectations from electorates and international agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord are propelling bold regulation to meet ESG commitments, particularly relating to emissions. Closer to home relating to the supply chain, the EU has put a spotlight on unfair trading practices, forcing companies to rethink how they pay vendors for goods and services. In other cases, most notably in the U.S., social pressure is driving significant momentum. In 2020, we saw companies prioritise workplace diversity and inclusion to enact measures for meaningful change, and a recent report by the Governance and Accountability Institute found that 90 per cent of S&P 500 companies publish sustainability reports.

In the wake of the “Green Finance Revolution,” the financial services industry is building a marketplace for investors to put green money to work in a material way. The Green Bond market has gone through USD$1 trillion issuance since its launch in 2007, with USD$305 billion in 2020 alone. As expected, there was a slight slowdown for the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the previous year; however, Bloomberg reported a dramatic surge in green bonds during the month of September that maintained momentum through Q4.

By the year 2030, it’s expected that ESG factors will be incorporated into 95 per cent of all assets. With the world’s biggest asset managers already on board and millions of dollars in green funding ready to be deployed, there’s pressure for businesses to buckle down on ESG in the coming years. It is not far off to imagine a world where businesses will have difficulty raising capital at all without meeting a certain ESG threshold.

Establishing an ESG Framework in the Context of Supply Chain Finance

Currently, there is no industry standard around ESG and supply chain finance, also known as supplier finance or reverse factoring. Different ESG ratings agencies and governmental bodies have outlines for the scope of ESG, but the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) uses an emissions scope framework that can most closely be translated to ESG in the context of supply chain finance. Using this framework, PrimeRevenue segments ESG into three scopes: direct impact, upstream indirect impact, and downstream indirect impact.

  1. Direct impact relates to a company’s own ESG impact. What policies and initiatives are being implemented to drive social and sustainability objectives directly within the business?
  2. Upstream indirect impact focuses on the supply chain and how businesses can influence their suppliers’ behavior related to ESG. How can they encourage and support suppliers to adopt socially and environmentally friendly business practices? And how can they help suppliers take corrective action when needed? This presents an opportunity for businesses to utilise sustainability-linked funding within their suppliers, which is the relevant investment class for this type of initiative.
  3. Downstream indirect impact explores how a business can encourage and influence customers to improve their ESG impact.

As PrimeRevenue sees increased appetite from companies to evaluate their ESG impact within the supply chain, we believe the most relevant areas of opportunity for supply chain finance are direct impact and upstream influence.

Expanding the Scope of Supplier Finance Beyond DPO

As companies think about sustainability and social responsibility more holistically, they are reframing how they think about supply chain finance. Organisations have traditionally viewed supply chain finance primarily as a tool to improve days payable outstanding (DPO) while simultaneously helping suppliers adjust to longer standard payment terms. Other considerations, such as the very real benefits of a more robust supply chain or more liquid suppliers, have traditionally come second. The global pandemic has changed that thinking. The vast majority of PrimeRevenue’s supplier expansion projects over the past 12 months have been driven by a desire to bolster supply chain liquidity, and buyers are beginning to understand the opportunities ESG provides to expand the driver of supply chain finance beyond working capital.

Currently, many of our discussions with customers revolve around supply chain finance’s relevance to a business’ direct ESG impact (scope 1). The expansion of green financing is raising the bar for companies’ participation in ESG initiatives. Now is a good time to evaluate where your business is on this journey and if your organisation is ready for the expectations that shareholders will have with regards to the ethics of your supply chain operations.

A supply chain finance programme is also a powerful way for businesses to have upstream influence (scope 2) on suppliers of all sizes. By providing flexibility to get paid early, buyers can encourage their suppliers to adopt better business practices or take corrective action. The most intuitive opportunity is access to early payment, which unlocks cash that can be used to invest in ESG-related activities to improve the supplier’s rating. Alternatively, buyers can offer suppliers perks for meeting ESG criteria. Examples include access to green funding or priority spend as a preferred supplier.

A question we get asked by many companies is where to begin. PrimeRevenue is in dialogue with many partners, clients and ESG ratings agencies about how supply chain finance can have a positive impact on a company’s ESG objectives. I encourage you to do a pulse check on your business. Do you have established ESG criteria for your supply chain and are you meeting it? Do you meet the requirements for green funding? Is there opportunity to build collaboration across your business? If the answer is yes, deploying a scalable financial supply chain solution that drives positive action within workable timelines is a great place to start. Contact us to learn more.

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Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.