The efficiency of your supply chain services is rooted in how well you streamline processes and balance costs. It can therefore seem odd to try and expand into seemingly unnecessary areas, like green supply chains. This is understandable, after all a supply chain is not the first thing people think about when looking for green approaches, nor is a sustainable supply chain going to make the most dramatic impact on the environment. However, this overlooks some very real net benefits that can be seen when incorporating sustainable elements into your supply chain. By going a little bit out of the way, you can end up with a more effective—and in some cases, more efficient—set of processes over all.
How Do You Make a Supply Chain Green?
It may help to first explain why we actually mean when we talk about sustainable supply chains. The central element is reduction of waste and your carbon footprint. For instance, shipping takes a large number of packaging materials, some of which are made from plastic—which in turn is made from oil. By taking steps to reduce packaging materials used or switching to materials made from sustainable materials, you can help lower the impact of your own operations. Another example can be taking steps to synchronize deliveries and minimize vehicle travel, which can lower emissions. Lastly, having a good returns policy that lets you reuse, refurbish, and recycle products can save unnecessary waste from landfills.
The Benefits of Going Green
Improvements in Financial Performance
One thing that can get overlooked when thinking about sustainable supply chain services is that they are largely connected to reducing inefficiencies. Saving on packaging materials, transportation costs, and recapturing value from returned products all have very clear benefits to your bottom line. Most of the time, the only difference in a cost-saving and green initiative is the stat at which you end up measuring. A reduction in packaging costs often translates to an increase in renewable packaging. Have your partnered with another company to share shipping costs and space? You’re now effectively carpooling and reducing oil use and emissions. Realizing the way that green initiatives can improve your bottom line is often just a matter of changing your thinking.
Enhancing Your Brand Image
Taking the initiative for green supply chain strategies will earn dividends among your customer base. Today’s modern consumers are also environmentally-conscious ones. They will respond well upon learning that a company is making an effort to go green and do its part to help the environment. You can try and sell this angle by offering reports on how much material or fuel has been saved or by how much emission has been reduced. If you know how your competition handles its practices, you might even be able to offer direct comparisons.
Get Green Supply Solutions with Lean Supply Solutions
Lean Supply Solutions is a third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment company whose operations are based around the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, predictable, and quality results. To learn more about the Lean Methodology, outsourcing to Lean Supply Solutions, or to ask any questions, give us a call at 905-482-2590.