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Defining Sustainability in the Supply Chain

At this point, staying green in business isn't an ambiguous term. It means doing what is best for the environment, reducing wasteful energy use, and choosing sustainable solutions wherever possible. Business has been increasingly receptive to this process: it has the opportunity to save money long-term, and certainly helps put a good face towards the public. This blog post by Jim Tompkins provides a few insights into the definition of sustainability and how it can be achieved in the supply chain: From a supply chain view, you can help the environment and create profit opportunities by taking actions such as:

  • Reducing emissions from manufacturing processes;
  • Utilizing more efficient transportation modes such as LTL (less than truck load) rather than parcel;
  • Ensuring that your distribution network is properly sized for customer needs; and
  • Replacing facilities with more modern warehouse technologies that use less energy.

All of these tips take some time to implement (and some money, too), but they are also great ways of revolutionizing the supply chain process and assuring that your business is prepared for the future. Companies that are embracing supply chain sustainability are cutting costs and avoiding the risks of having a poor public image (and aging processes). Tompkins makes it a point to remind us at the end of his article that “[r]educing emissions and energy consumption and realizing greater profits are not mutually exclusive”.

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