Sustainability is a massive concern in the supply chain industry. Companies large and small are under the watch of customers who want to support environmentally-friendly brands. While change can’t happen overnight, there are a few steps that companies can take to help reduce their supply chain’s impact on the environment.
GreenBiz offers 5 tips for making your supply chain as green as can be:
MAP YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Many companies don’t realize the impact of their supply chain because they aren’t clear on all the steps in their process. A supply chain analysis is a good first step for mapping current output. After completing that audit, you can inventory suppliers to identify environmental and social challenges so you can then prioritize efforts with suppliers.
Don’t just make changes – let people know what you’re doing, and why! Taking steps to be more sustainable is a great way to walk the walk for your company values. Communicate these changes with your team, suppliers and customers so you can communicate your corporate values. It’s also important to have a supplier code of conduct that you can reference with it comes to environmental efforts.
BASELINE SUPPLIER PERFORMANCE
Once you have a supplier code of conduct, you can create a baseline for desired output and data. You can also use your supply chain analysis to help you create that baseline. Another way to gather data is by evaluating supplier performance through questionnaires and surveys. For example, For example, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) uses responses from their survey to gauge performance of their top tier suppliers on important aspects of environmental performance, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water usage, and waste generation.
DEVELOP TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMS
In order to stick with changes, it’s important to get everyone up to speed and set them up with clear guidelines. There are many external resources available to support these efforts, including studying other companies’ successes. Leverage best practices and case studies from top-performing suppliers at annual vendor conferences, via online training modules and through capacity building campaigns.
DRIVE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
Now that you have your baseline and data to reference, set up a regular audit program to measure performance over time. This could be part of a regular supply chain analysis. Be prepared to act on your findings by developing and executing corrective action plans by clearly communicating the results and your expectations to suppliers, developing a capacity-building program and, if necessary, terminating suppliers if non-compliance persists.
While these changes take time to implement, starting the process now is easier than down the line. Curious to see where your business could lessen their carbon footprint? Contact us today for a supply chain analysis.
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