Sustainability principles are incorporated into conventional supply chain management through green supply chain practices. The objective is to support businesses in minimizing waste and carbon emissions while increasing revenue. There is space for green improvements throughout the whole supply chain, from manufacturing and purchasing to distribution, warehousing, and transportation.
Green supply chain management (GSCM) practices have significant environmental benefits. For one thing, striving for supply chain sustainability by using less energy reduces CO2 emissions and other air pollutants. CO2, emitted by activities ranging from industrial work to vehicle operation, is one of the primary greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. CO2 emissions have nearly tripled since 1970, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Climate change has already had an impact on a wide range of industries that rely on natural resources, from commercial fishing to forestry. Businesses can do a lot to slow or stop global warming and ensure a bright future for our planet by switching to more sustainable practices.
Green supply chain practices also help to reduce waste and conserve nonrenewable resources. Businesses that use recycled paper instead of plastic, for example, keep trash out of landfills and fragile ecosystems while also reducing their reliance on petroleum-based products.
They use less fuel when they load trucks more efficiently and set strict policies on driving speed and idling. They also conserve resources for future generations when they follow the principles of sustainable agriculture and sustainable forestry. In short, implementing GSCM practices is critical not only for environmental health. It is critical for the long-term viability of industries and communities.
Using streamlined packaging requires fewer materials and can result in lower costs. Furthermore, a more efficient package design may allow for the shipment of more units in the same cargo space, lowering transportation costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Managing risk in your business
Unsustainable practices will inevitably come to an end. Businesses that fail to plan for the future may find themselves without a cost-effective supplier if environmental or socioeconomic issues disrupt the supply chain. Proactively planning to adopt smarter and greener supply chain practices can help you prepare for a future in which your current practices are no longer viable. A great example of this is how sustainable forestry, as opposed to clear-cutting trees, helps preserve woodlands for future use.
Streamlining transportation logistics offers numerous opportunities to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. For example, you could use load-planning software to not only make logistics planning easier, but also to better utilize cargo space and reduce the number of trips required to transport your products. If at all any kind of urgency strikes in any scenario you could avail air freight or ocean services depending on your needs.
Consumers today appreciate companies that make an effort to go green. In fact, according to Boston Consulting Group, 70% of consumers are willing to pay a 5% price premium for sustainable goods. After all, green supply chain practices do more than just help to preserve the planet for future generations. They improve communities now, in part by lowering emissions that affect air quality and worker health. Demand for green products will continue to rise as consumer values shift. According to the US Small Business Association, four out of every five consumers purchase environmentally friendly products and services.