The supply chain is one of the most energy-inefficient sectors of a company. More and more companies are reforming their supply chain sectors to make them more sustainable. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion on the concept of sustainability, even among larger companies. Sustainability is not an obvious aspect that you can quickly show the world to improve the appearance of your company. So what exactly is a sustainable supply chain? And how can companies achieve sustainability?
What is Sustainable Supply Chain Management?
Sustainable supply chain management has social and environmental aspects.
Environmentally, you should be implementing practices that result in a lower carbon footprint. That means you should avoid energy-inefficient modes of transport and should try to only work with suppliers that strive to take care of the environment.
Socially, a sustainable chain should take care of its workers. If your company has reduced its carbon footprint significantly over the years but does not have plans to improve the workers’ conditions, then it is not sustainable.
How to Develop a Sustainable Supply Chain
It is important to note that a sustainable supply chain is not created overnight. It is usually created over many years, and the company has to follow a well laid out strategy. Here are some steps you should follow when developing a sustainable supply chain:
- Make a plan: Come up with a goal and a timeline for accomplishing these targets.
- Review suppliers: Map out your suppliers based on their environmental performance. Cut out suppliers who significantly lower the performance of your supply chain.
- Train your staff: Everyone in your company should be trained on driving behaviour and other practices that can reduce your overall carbon emissions.
- Partner with NGOs since they have the knowledge on how to implement sustainability practices
- Transport your products with fuel-efficient vehicles. Avoid aircrafts as much as possible.