15 Sep 2023

Supply Chain Sustainability and its Relevance to Your Business

A collective way ahead, inclusive of its impact on the environment, is now an underlying theme for companies managing their supply chain. This blog highlights the importance and the application of sustainable value chain functioning.

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Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

The above phrase was the theme of the recently concluded G20 summit and stood for the ethos that values all forms of life and their interconnectedness to Earth. Much of the theme spotlights the need to make responsible choices that, in turn, empower the idea of sustainability and having an action plan that directly contributes to a green earth.

From a business perspective, many industries across the scale have opted for greener practices that keep them aligned with the objectives of the greater good. Contributing to the cause is the implementation of sustainable supply chain management.

Table of Contents

What is Supply Chain Sustainability?

A sustainable supply chain represents a company’s operation framework that aligns its environmental, social, and economic impact across every value chain process. This involves accounting for carbon footprints and implementing strategies that benefit nature and its inhabitants. From a management perspective, this covers keeping track of every process, right from raw material procurement to transportation.

Supply Chain Sustainability

But before we delve into the ‘How’ factor, we first need to know ‘Why’ precisely the importance of sustainability in the supply chain is gaining much traction.

Why is Supply Chain Sustainability Important?

We are all collective citizens sharing a single address for human life form existence. With governing bodies and global organizations signing off legislation to focus on sustainability – companies across demography are finding ways to get their end-to-end value chain functioning close to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) norms.

In context to the brand calling factor, customers also look for sustainably produced final products that align with their ethical buying practices.

Moreover, with enterprises opting for a go-green foundation, it also opens up many possible partnership opportunities for the company's management that make them more scalable and double down on the financial parameters of gradual investment and overall ROI. These titular actions also bring awareness at a larger scale and play a pivotal role in solidifying a company's stand to its green objectives. A green supply chain also improves productivity big time by resourcing techniques that take a minimal toll on Earth's natural resources and extend by involving every stakeholder right from internal (employees) to external (vendors, contractors) on ethical practices that push the overall collective effort from a conglomerate.

If one has to note down the bullet points on the going sustainable, this is how it will pan out:

Here's Why Supply Chain Sustainability is Important
  • Benefits Environment
  • Makes the Supply Chain More Visible
  • Enhances Value Chain Resiliene
  • Improves Brand Value
  • Financially More Rewarding w/ potential opportunities

How to employ sustainability in a Modern Supply Chain?

By looks, it might seem an enormous task, but if planned well, setting the working framework of a sustainable value chain can be a simplified process. And it all starts by knowing the scale of the operation. Here's the essential check box to be kept in mind when initiating sustainability in a modern supply chain.

Here's how to employ sustainability in a Modern Supply Chain
  1. Identifying Sustainability Goals & ObjectivesA SCM must know what exactly are the actual goals that they are vying for. The goal setting should be in context to its financial prowess, skilled and non-skilled resources, and scalability potential. This eventually helps management jot down the requirements essential for their environmental-first growth.
  2. Creating Sustainable PolicyThe next eventual step is to underline the sustainable policies that are non-negotiable for both the internal & external stakeholders. This blueprint acts as a baseline for the eventual course of action the enterprise is targeting, from ethical sourcing to employing rightful work practices, using renewable energy, and proper waste management.
  3. Evaluate Your Current ProcessesEvaluating your standing supply chain structure will help leadership decide to upgrade the individual processes or completely overhaul the entire value chain functioning. This step helps management be better positioned to initiate its action plans with the latest tech, skills, and guidelines.
  4. CollaborateFor any strategic action to bear results, collaboration is a non-negotiable trait. Synonymous with a continuously improving process, collaboration helps an organization yield better results by aligning all the key stakeholders accountable by measuring relevant KPIs.
  5. Monitor & AdaptFinetuning any process involves constant learning. Monitoring performance and adapting on the go holds the key to efficient performance. Such regular reviews help SCM know areas where investment has to be made. It simply maximizes the supply chain potential with its context to its environment first approach.

The relevance of being up to date with ethical and sustainable practices not only gives a business an edge over its competitors but also positions itself as a proactive organization looking to contribute back to the planet it thrives on. 3SC, with its offerings, catalyzes an enterprise's intent of making its supply chain more sustainable with its analytically driven innovative value chain solutions. With its cohesive approach keeping a company's financial & environmental objectives aligned, 3SC is your ideal partner on your journey to carbon-neutral functioning.

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