Environmental Issues in Supply Chain Management
April 7, 2014, 2:09 pm - As the negative effect that humans are having on the global climate becomes more evident, more and more people find the need to reduce their individual impact on the environment. This is especially true for businesses, as consumers are increasingly taking the environmental consciousness of a company into consideration when making their purchasing decision. Your company can make huge gains in the reduction of your environmental impact by considering the environmental issues in supply chain management. What are the environmental issues in supply chain management? Parts supply, production, distribution, storage and product end of life phases all have an impact on the environment. There was once a time when the manufacturing entity was only responsible for one of the stages on that list: production. Now, companies can expect to face questions from not only customers, but also shareholders and employees, about how the company plans to reduce the environmental impact of their product at all stages. Doing this requires you to both collaborate with your partners for more environmentally friendly supply chain management (SCM) and enhance your own SCM practices. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to enact such practices, as not everybody sees the financial practicality in making their SCM more environmentally friendly. The biggest environmental issues in supply chain management are how to change the aforementioned problems. In this article, we will explain how you can best approach enhancing the environmental friendliness of your supply chain management approach. Understand that enhanced SCM measures can save you money You may look at making your SCM more environmentally friendly as something that can have a negative impact on your company's bottom line, but this is an incorrect line of thinking. Reusable, more sustainable, more energy efficient storage, transport and production methods will save you a great deal of money in the long run. General Motors, for example, has already saved more than 12 million dollars by making a minor tweak to their supply chain management approach (they switched to reusable waste disposal containers). You can make large savings as well with enhancements to your SCM. Upgrade your equipment This is the easiest step in solving environmental issues in your supply chain management practice, as this requires no coordination with your business partners. You only need take action by investing in sustainable, reusable or more energy efficient equipment. For example, adding solar powered equipment can greatly reduce your energy footprint and cut deeply into the costs therein. Also, take a look at a sustainable replacement for any equipment that is normally disposed of. Adjust your approaches You could have all of the most environmentally friendly equipment available to you and still be creating major waste if you are not engaging in sustainable practices. Check for redundancies in your SCM and methodologies that can be made more environmentally friendly. Help your partners understand that enhancing the environmental friendliness of SCM makes business sense Since the environmental issues in supply chain management that you face occur at all levels, you will need to work with the business partners engaged in your SCM. As we mentioned earlier, this is not always easy. However, since they stand to reap the same practical business benefits in addition to enhanced goodwill (which can lead to more customers for them as well) they should be made aware of this. Sustainability is profitable and will protect our environment Solving environmental issues in supply chain management is a must for the future of all businesses that want to thrive. Pentalift can help you in your efforts to enhance your environmentally friendly practices. Contact us today to learn more about our products that can help you reduce your carbon footprint, and increase the efficiency of your processes.