Ways to Make Your Supply Chain More Sustainable!

Make your Supply Chain more sustainable

Many companies are looking for ways to add more sustainability in all aspects of their supply chain. It is time to get rid of some of the processes that are now outdated and change them out for innovative techniques that will be good for the environment. Sustainability is a whole process that takes time and will need a full plan with everyone involved to make your Supply Chain more sustainable.

While your company won’t be able to find a quick and easy fix for adding in more sustainability in the supply chain, making small changes here and there will help you achieve a bottom line that will provide you more profits, improve your reputation, and helps the environment.

Some of the tips that you can use to make your Supply Chain more sustainable include:

Map Out the Supply Chain

Without a comprehensive look at your supply chain, it is virtually impossible for you to implement the necessary effective sustainability changes. After all, how are you supposed to identify the necessary changes if you do not understand what you already do in the process and what will lead to improvements. 

The first step to sustainability will require you to map out the entire supply chain. This will help you to determine the risks and what seems to cause the most waste, while also providing an accurate picture of all the challenges global suppliers are facing. You can then see how natural and human resources are used, giving a better view on where to make changes. 

Ensure Ethical Sourcing

As the manager of the supply chain, you need to see how your suppliers are producing and extracting raw materials to make sure that all sustainability guidelines are followed. This focus on some of the raw materials can be important to the supply change and you may find that you need to change some of your relationships to become more sustainable than before. 

For example, you may choose to change out your pallet vendor and go for a local supplier. This can help to reduce the transportation times and many of the costs associated with the transportation, while also reducing the CO2 emissions related to bringing the products to you. 

On a smaller scale, you will find that simple hacks like going paperless when communicating with vendors and each other can make a big difference as well. You may need to take a look at all of the different options to ensure you are being ethical to the environment around you while conducting your business. 

Change Your Personal Mentality

A significant contributing factor to slower progress towards sustainability is education. While there are some measures to this process that require some physical procedural changes, this often will not happen unless the company will make some cultural and behavioral changes to be implemented first. You will need to get the understanding of your suppliers and staff first. 

When you develop an internal training program that helps install how important this mission is to your new and existing employees, you can help everyone align together with the same goal, helping you to get the right results that you want in sustainability day in and day out. 

There are different ways that you are able to do this. Some of the best options will include:

  • Showcase some success stories of others who have gone through these steps
  • Use facts to build momentum in the organization
  • Allow members of the team to come up with ideas to add more sustainability

When you can get everyone on the same page from the beginning, you are more likely to see the results and now struggle to maintain some of the sustainability that you are looking for. 

Try to Collaborate with Other Companies

No matter the amount of effort you put in, you will not be able to solve all of your supply chain issues on your own, whether it comes in at a personal level or a company level. However, what you are able to do is turn into the voice of change and spread the message to others in the industry who may operate some of the same components of the supply chain as you. 

While working with your competitors may not seem like a great idea in the beginning, these collaborations are going to allow the industry to come up with a common standard to hold the suppliers accountable to, preventing mountains of paperwork and helping you to make a very large impact on the future of the industry. But you need the competition to help. 

Consumer demand has pushed a lot of the environmental concerns to the front of an agenda that is taking over the world. It is not more of a requirement that supply chains are sustainable and good for the environment. Taking the time to make your supply chain more sustainable can help you reach the customers better and improve your reputation around the world. 

Recycle Your Office Waste

When you want to make your supply chain more sustainable, you need to start a recycling process in your office. There are so many benefits of doing this including protecting the environment, helping with energy savings, building up your reputation in the industry, and can reduce the amount of pollution in the world. 

You will need to come up with a plan on how to recycle the office waste to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You can talk to others in the business to see what is the best course of action and then do some training so employees know what to expect when the recycling plan starts up. 

Adding Sustainability to Your Supply Chain

The exact steps that you will use to add more sustainability to your supply chain will depend on your business and how the process works for you already. Take a look at some of the tips above and see just how you can make your supply chain more sustainable than before. 

Make your Supply Chain more sustainable article and permission to publish here provided by Gabe Nelson. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on August 9, 2022.