How much do we know about sustainable supply chain? Let’s have a look on how supply chain lifecycle could be incomplete without any integration of environmentally and financially viable practices. If the selection/agricultural production of raw material to manufacturing, packaging, distribution, final consumption of a product is done in an environmentally sustainable manner, it can help the organization to not only reduce the carbon footprint as a whole but also helps in reducing operation costs thereby increasing profitability.
With increasing demand for the manufacturing capacities, companies usually switch off their focus from other aspects in an organization. Company should involve observation of First tier suppliers, lower-tier suppliers to avoid any scandals and any serious financial, social or environmental risks to the company along with studying full supply chain pattern of the business. Observation here involves thorough check on Environmental Management System, labour conditions, viable Environmental, health, and safety programs of the two existing tier suppliers. The problem however, could originate from your organization as well, when you place orders that exceed supplier’s capacity. It may lead to violating workweek limits with unacceptable production/selection of raw material. It worsens when you imply a certain deadline on the order fulfilment. Well, off course it doesn’t mean one cannot put deadline but full research of the supplier’s ability is must. They might be least equipped to handle sustainability requirements, lacking any expertise or resources. In order to meet the demands of customers, organizations fall into more complex product life cycles ignoring any sustainable activity.
It is evident that supply chain can have the greatest impact on the environment than any other operations in an organization. Following sustainable patterns brings obvious benefits with reducing energy, resource consumption. It attracts consumers who understand and recognize the importance of green practices, thereby, increasing sales. It helps in compliance fulfilment of regulations levied by the government, Corporate Social Responsibility, with reducing waste in the supply chain and conserving resources.
How well do you know about the sustainable practices of your first and lower tier suppliers?
Source: Supply and demand chain executive
Article by Gursharan Kaur