Welcome to the world of Supply Chain Sustainability! A world where companies are taking a deeper look into the environmental and social impacts of their supply chains. With increasing consumer demand for responsible and eco-friendly products, supply chain sustainability is becoming more vital than ever before. From reducing carbon emissions to promoting fair labour practices, companies that prioritize sustainable supply chains are leading the pack in creating a better future for all.
In this blog, we will explore the various aspects of supply chain sustainability, highlight some interesting case studies, and share practical tips for companies looking to make lasting changes. So, let us dive in and see how sustainable supply chains are transforming the world of business!
From materials sourcing to production processes, transportation to packaging, there are numerous areas where we can implement sustainable practices to ensure a greener and more sustainable future. Sustainability is not just about minimizing our negative impact on the environment, but also about creating positive social and economic impacts for communities along the supply chain.
So, what does it take to create a sustainable supply chain?
Eco-friendly shipping is when companies use materials that can be easily recycled and decomposed for packaging and shipping products and then reused again. This is one of the most effective ways for companies to reduce their environmental impact. By showing concern for nature, improving product design, and using sustainable packaging, companies can build customer trust and stand out in the market.
Some of the most commonly used eco-friendly materials include recycled paper and cardboard, biodegradable plastics, and sustainable forestry products. Companies can also opt for materials that are free from harmful chemicals and other toxins. By choosing eco-friendly and long-lasting materials, companies can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and help protect the environment.
Monitoring real-time data during product shipment can help increase supply chain sustainability by providing information on how the products are being transported and handled. This information can be used to identify areas where improvements can be made to reduce waste and environmental impact. For example, with Hive-Zox’s solution, connected monitoring, it is possible to track the temperature of perishable goods during shipping in real-time. This can help ensure that they are stored at optimal conditions, which reduces the likelihood of spoilage and minimizes the need for additional shipments. By using data to optimize the supply chain, companies can reduce costs and improve their environmental performance.
Shipping methods that emit less carbon and combining orders to reduce the impact on the environment using innovative technologies such as renewable energy sources, smart transportation systems, and AI-powered logistics, can help companies to reduce their environmental impact and improve their supply chain management. For example, companies can use solar power to generate their own electricity, or they can use electric vehicles for transportation. They can also use AI-powered systems to optimize their supply chain, reducing waste and improving efficiency.
On this regard, Amazon has Co-founded in 2019, The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. They reached 85% renewable energy across their operations by 2021 and started looking into working with other companies to explore green hydrogen technologies. However, the same year, Amazon’s overall emissions rose to 71.54 million metric tons (+18%) of carbon dioxide, equivalent volume roughly equal to the emissions from Cambodia. This to show that it will take time to remove carbon emission from heavy transport systems, including ocean shipping, aviation, and trucking but by cooperating and working with partners in the public and private sectors we will accelerate and reduce the impact of our footprint.
Supporting transparency, quality, and promoting responsible sourcing practices and environmental compliance in the global supply chain. Fair trade certifications are an excellent way for companies to ensure that their supply chain is ethical and sustainable. Fair trade certifications require companies to adhere to strict ethical and environmental standards, ensuring that they are treating their workers fairly and minimizing their impact on the environment. Companies can display the fair-trade certification logo on their products to demonstrate to consumers that they are committed to sustainability and ethical practices.
Sustainable supply chain practices are more important than ever before, and companies are taking notice. Consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the environment, and they want to support businesses that are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. But where do you start? Here are eight sustainable supply chain practices that you can implement to reduce your impact on the environment.
1. Discover your Company’s Carbon Footprint (PCF) and Take Action!
In order to identify which operations, need improvement, it is important to measure your PCF. This will give you a baseline to work from, and help you identify areas where you can reduce your emissions. By eliminating redundant tasks and implementing an emissions management system, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Up Your Green Game: Transportation Optimisation for Sustainability
Transportation is a key area where emissions can be reduced. By fully loading trucks and using electric vehicles, you can significantly reduce your emissions. Route optimisation techniques can also be used to reduce the distance travelled and reduce emissions.
3. Power Up: Partner with Sustainable Suppliers and Make a Difference
Working with sustainable suppliers will not only reduce your GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions but also human rights compliance and improve your brand image. This collaboration will encourage your suppliers to adopt sustainable practices, benefiting everyone in the long run.
4. Smarter Stock: Minimise Inventory and Maximise Sustainability
Warehouses are one of the biggest contributors to supply chain related GHG emissions. By minimising inventory and reducing the size of your warehouses, you can significantly reduce your emissions. This also saves a lot of money and leads to quicker and more efficient production.
5. Go from Waste to Wow! Reuse By-products and Cut Down on Waste
Waste and by-products can often be reused or recycled. This will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and significantly reduce your emissions. This is not just better for the environment but also has positive social and ethical impact.
6. Packing for Success: Use Environmentally Friendly Packaging to Boost Your Business
Reduce your use of plastics and non-biodegradable packaging, and choose sustainable packaging options such as recyclable, compostable, biodegradable materials.
7. Change the World: Encourage Regulators and Consumers to Become Eco-Champions!
The government is key to getting the national impact of sustainability planning. It is important to nudge policymakers to introduce policies that encourage sustainable business practices, for example, carbon tax. Businesses can also nudge consumers by educating them on sustainable practices and the impact of their consumer choices.
8. Never Lose Visibility Again!
Rewire your supply chain with Hive-Zox’s solution. Do not lose control of your products but predict your next steps. Hive-Zox is a B2B data company, that offers connected Monitoring as a Service (cMaaS), a complete Real-Time Visibility solution for global supply chains, from first mile to last mile and everything in between 24/7, down to the product level.
An all-inclusive pay-per-use reusable solution that provides immediate actionable information to help clients be more sustainable by reducing their carbon footprint, waste, and costs, and guaranteeing products to ensure public safety.
Sustainable practices in the supply chain are critical to reducing global emissions and protecting our planet for generations to come. By implementing these seven sustainable practices, you can reduce your impact on the environment, save cost and increase your resilience.
Several companies have successfully implemented sustainable practices into their supply chain and product shipments:
1. Patagonia: This outdoor clothing company has implemented several sustainable practices, including using recycled materials and reducing the carbon footprint of its supply chain.
2. Nestle: Nestle has implemented several eco-friendly practices in its supply chain, such as using renewable energy, recycling waste, and reducing packaging material.
3. UPS: This shipping and logistics company has implemented sustainable practices through its “sustainability toolkit,” which includes measures like using electric vehicles and optimizing delivery routes to reduce fuel consumption.
4. Walmart: Walmart has been actively working on sustainability in recent years and has implemented several initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions, such as using renewable energy and implementing a more efficient supply chain.
5. Unilever: This consumer goods company has taken several steps towards sustainability, such as reducing packaging waste and implementing renewable energy solutions in its manufacturing processes.
The practice of improving sustainability is important for our society, and it also benefits our business. It helps to build stronger relationships with our customers, as we prioritize not only to keep affordable and easy to implement solutions, but also ones that have a low overall cost to the environment. Implementing sustainable practices also helps us to streamline our operations by reducing waste and utilizing fewer resources, ultimately making our supply chains more resilient in the long run. Our stakeholders are invested in seeing the world’s largest companies contribute to a more sustainable future, and we take this responsibility seriously.
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