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The Future is Sustainable: Harnessing the Power of Supply Chains for Business Success
Updated: May 16
What is a Sustainable Supply Chain
Supply chain sustainability involves companies taking into account the environmental and social impacts of their product’s journeys through the supply chain, including raw material sourcing, production, storage, delivery, and transportation links. The objective is to reduce environmental damage caused by factors such as energy consumption, water usage, and waste generation, while also promoting positive impacts on the communities and people affected by their operations.
Why Sustainable Supply Chain is Important
The most obvious answer is that driving sustainable supply chains is good for the planet. Cutting down on waste, greenhouse gas emissions and the use of resources like water and energy can do their part to protect the planet and make sure it stays healthy for future generations.
Sustainable supply chains are also good for businesses for several reasons. Research shows that 60% of global consumers cite sustainability and social responsibility as essential considerations when choosing which products to buy. Natural Products Insider found that 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete supply-chain transparency. It’s also a competitive advantage to incorporate sustainability into your brand mission. Leading manufacturers such as Jamieson Wellness, have already begun to find ways to reduce their environmental footprint through initiatives such as waste reduction.
Being a sustainable company today is an advantage while in the future as Canadian policy changes, it will eventually become mandatory. Organizations need to ask themselves if they would rather be an innovator in the space of sustainability or a follower once regulations change.
What are Sustainable Supply Chain Practices?
Change is difficult, there is no doubt about that but one aspect of improving supply chain sustainability that we’ve seen and been able to help with comes from data. You can’t improve what you can’t measure. There are 4 ways in which data can help companies create sustainable supply chains.
1. Identifying environmental impact: Data can help companies understand the environmental impact of their supply chain operations. This includes carbon emissions, water usage, waste generation, and other factors that contribute to climate change and environmental degradation. By identifying the areas with the most significant impact, companies can prioritize actions to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their sustainability performance.
2. Optimizing supply chain operations: Data can also help companies optimize their supply chain operations for sustainability. For example, companies can use data to optimize transportation routes to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency in warehouses and manufacturing facilities, and reduce waste by optimizing packaging materials and production processes.
3. Tracking supplier performance: Data can be used to track the sustainability performance of suppliers. By collecting and analyzing data on supplier practices and performance, companies can ensure that their suppliers meet the sustainability standards set by the company. This can include ensuring suppliers use sustainable materials, follow ethical labor practices, and minimize environmental impacts.
4. Setting sustainability targets and measuring progress: Data can help companies set sustainability targets that align with their overall business objectives and measure progress toward those targets. This can include tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as carbon emissions, water usage, and waste generation. By setting targets and measuring progress, companies can hold themselves accountable for their sustainability commitments and continuously improve their performance.
Overall, data can provide valuable insights to help companies create sustainable supply chains, reduce environmental impacts, and improve their overall sustainability performance.
How Sustainable Supply Chains are Driving Business Transformation
Sustainable supply chains are driving some interesting business transformations these days. Companies are realizing that by implementing sustainable practices, they can save money, work more efficiently, and attract more customers and investors who care about sustainability and social responsibility.
But here's the thing: making a shift towards sustainable supply chains isn't just something that happens automatically. It takes a top-down approach, with leadership teams leading the way. That's because when leaders make sustainability a priority, it sets the tone for the rest of the organization and creates a culture of sustainability throughout the supply chain.
One of the benefits of adopting sustainable supply chains is that it can help companies to reduce their environmental impact and address the challenges of climate change. This is important right now, as more and more people are aware of the lasting impact human activities are having on the planet.
But sustainable supply chains are also good for business in lots of other ways. By reducing waste, conserving resources, and improving the efficiency of their operations, companies can save money and become more competitive. And as consumers and investors increasingly demand that companies demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, adopting sustainable practices throughout the supply chain can help companies to enhance their reputation and build long-term success.
So, there you have it: sustainable supply chains are driving some big changes in the business world. And it all starts with leadership teams making a commitment to sustainability and leading the way toward more sustainable business practices throughout the supply chain.
If you are looking to get started, one area we help businesses in is reducing packaging waste.
We have a fantastic, risk-free offer for CPG companies looking to become innovators in supply chain sustainability and it starts with packaging waste reduction.
Click the button below to set up a short 15-minute call and learn how other leading manufacturers such as Jamieson Wellness are taking advantage of this amazing opportunity.
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