3 Ways Companies Make Their Supply Chains Sustainable

3 Ways Companies Make Their Supply Chains Sustainable

Supply chain sustainability is crucial for the broader effort to transition the global economy toward sustainability. After all, supply chain sustainability addresses a range of issues having to do with the sourcing of raw materials and various manufacturing processes.
Here are 3 key ways companies work to make their supply chains sustainable. 
1) Locate Key Issues for Sustainability in the Supply Chain
If a company wants to make its supply chain more sustainable, the first order of business should be to identify key issues for sustainability in the supply chain | https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/starting-at-the-source-sustainability-in-supply-chains |. After all, without knowing where the problem lies, how can it be fixed? 
Finding sustainability issues in the supply chain means considering environmental, social, and economic factors and points of interest. These issues are as diverse as the companies and the industries themselves. On a coffee plantation, pesticide use, worker protections, and climate resilience may all be relevant factors. In fashion, relevant issues may include upcycling waste fabric | Learn more on Commonshare |, using sustainable materials like lyocell or viscose-rayon | https://www.synzenbe.com/blog/cellulose-and-sustainability-how-viscose-rayon-manufacturers-go-green-961/961 | or organic cotton, etc.  
2) Choose the Right Sustainability Goals to Reduce Impact 
Identifying sustainability issues in a supply chain is a good first step. Once a company has done this, they can take the next step and set sustainability goals. Here, it is important to set the correct goals. Sustainability goals should be based on scientific recommendations because these encapsulate the best evidentiary standards and policy recommendations. 
A good example of this principle in action comes from General Mills. The cereal titan set an emissions-reduction goal for its entire supply chain and used recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to inform the goal. The company is now working to drive its agricultural suppliers toward sustainable practices. 
In other words, by choosing scientifically recommended sustainable policy goals, companies can set the best goals to maximize their impact and do the most good. This is vitally important for actually making an impact for a sustainable future. 
3) Assist Suppliers & Ensure Follow-Through
Companies that assist their suppliers and ensure follow-through get better results. After all, change in the direction of sustainability is expensive, time-consuming, and entails a certain amount of difficulty. Companies that become active change partners with their suppliers, achieve substantially better results. For example, Campbell Soup Company collaborated with the Environmental Defense Fund to provide assistance to farmers to help them optimize fertilizers' use and improve the protection of the soil. The assistance included a combination of technologies, guidelines, and products. 
Similarly, Walmart worked with its Chinese suppliers to promote energy efficiency using an online tool. This initiative was a success: suppliers reduced energy consumption by an average of 10%. 
To conclude, companies can make progress toward sustainability in supply chains by taking certain steps to find and address the key issues. By choosing to be proactive and address the whole supply chain, a company can make much greater gains toward sustainability. 

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