4 Strategies for Sustainability in the Supply Chain

4 Strategies for Sustainability in the Supply Chain

Once a company has decided to create sustainability in its supply chain | https://www.synzenbe.com/blog/sustainable-strategy-procurement-and-digital-transformation-977/977 |, there are a number of strategies it can adopt to encourage and help supply chain partners to follow suit. 
In a previous post, we covered 3 ways companies can make their supply chains sustainable. Today we will cover 4 strategies companies can adopt as they work to create sustainability in the supply chain. 
 
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1. Map the Supply Chain 
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Many issues for sustainability may be better understood and detected if the company first undertakes the mapping of the supply chain | https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/01/24/6-steps-more-sustainable-supply-chain |. By mapping the supply chain, the company can ascertain the activities involved in it and identify areas for improvement. 
A good first step for mapping is inventorying suppliers. After that, the company can identify the key challenges for environmental sustainability and social sustainability, and prioritize efforts to address those issues. New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., for example, mapped its supply chain and was able to reduce the number of suppliers by 65% based on performance measured against the company’s sustainability criteria. This is a good example of how mapping leads to efficiency which leads to more parsimonious use of resources. 
 
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2. Communicate Sustainability Expectations 
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Companies that prioritize sustainability should communicate this to their supply chain partners. By establishing expectations up front, companies can promote sustainability-related actions in supply chain partners. 
Communication is key because it establishes the idea that sustainability is a priority. A company that has a set of sustainability-related action items should communicate them to all supply chain partners.
 
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3. Educate to Promote Culture Change
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Communication is important, but companies who want to promote sustainability should also take it upon themselves to educate supply chain partners with an eye toward promoting culture change. It is all well and good to communicate expectations of sustainability, but educating supply chain partners can help them to understand why these expectations are important and how to meet them. It is particularly important for educational efforts to be geared toward promoting change in the cultures of supply chain partners | https://www.supplychaindigital.com/supply-chain-management/six-ways-achieve-supply-chain-sustainability |. By cultivating a culture of sustainability, companies can help supply chain partners to increase their ability to adapt sustainability-related policies. 
Culture change is complex, but it is vital because culture encompasses all of the shared practices and traditions of a company. Without addressing the culture, sustainability-related initiatives will necessarily be very limited in impact. 
 
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4. Train & Build Capacity
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A big part of education should be training and capacity building. It is all well and good to educate companies about the why of a given policy, and it is very important to encourage culture change. However, these efforts will be incomplete without training and capacity-building to help supply chain partners actually accomplish what is expected of them. 
Training and capacity building may cover any- and everything from energy conservation to labor rights and so much more. By adopting training and capacity building programs, companies can work to create tangible change toward sustainability in their supply chain partners. 

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