Sustainable Supply Chains: Why Placing Ethics Over Profits Pays Off

Not every “going green” initiative brought forth by a major corporation is a thinly veiled scam masking what is actually “business as usual.” The problem is that the more massive a company, the more difficult it is to monitor all its suppliers to determine how and where it procures its resources. Tom Seal writes for The Guardian about how the benefits of sticking to a sustainable plan really do pay dividends. He points to the easy example Lush, which has over 800 stores worldwide and uses an approach of “creative buying” to obtain the products that are safest and most suitable for an ethical supply chain. Employing corporate social responsibility (CSR) across the board may be a challenge for companies not built that way from the ground up, but there are examples to support making such efforts. As Seal notes, “in 2010 PepsiCo uncovered over $60m in energy-saving opportunities as a result of a carbon management and energy assessment program it undertook with its suppliers.”

Of course, do not lose your head going too green too quick either, as SunChips sales dropped 11 percent when they replaced their bags with incredibly, extremely loud recyclable bags. Carve out the path that helps the Earth and the business both. But personally, I wish I would have kept a few of those loud SunChips bags, since they would have made for an amazingly cheap security system to tie to the front door knob at night.

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