Sustainable supply chains are becoming increasingly popular among not only small, local businesses but also large multinational companies as well. This is first and foremost because they are seen as socially responsible and healthier for the environment.
However, the benefits for your business itself should not be overlooked. In the article below, we identify why it is so important that you keep your supply chain sustainable and explore three ways of doing so.
Standing up for Human Rights
Human rights are first on the UN’s list for reasons why sustainable supply chains are so important. Protecting human rights throughout the supply chain are, according to the UN, a precondition for sustainable development. Without empowering people with basic rights, sustainability is not possible.
According to the UN, a system that denies the basic rights of any human being is unsustainable, regardless of how well it may seem to be functioning in the short term.
Human rights issues that a business owner should be concerned about, especially within global supply chains, include gender and race equality, children’s rights and human trafficking.
Ensuring Healthy Working Conditions
Relatedly, a sustainable supply chain also requires ensuring that those who work for you are working under fair and healthy conditions. This means providing adequate compensation for the work completed, reasonable working hours and safe and hygienic working environments for employees.
Failing to ensure this is not only unethical, but not sustainable in the long run for any business wishing to be successful.
Protecting the Environment
Sustainable supply chains are generally less resource intensive and usually attempt to prevent the use of unnecessary chemicals or synthetic items. Keeping your supply chain sustainable in terms of environmental health is not only a good thing as an end in itself, but it is also a great way to send a message to your customer base that you care about the environment.
To do this, the business should aim to use recycled materials wherever possible, reduce as much waste, and opt for using environmentally friendly raw materials when producing your products. Making environmentally friendly choices is a great way to keep costs low.
All three of these factors of sustainability – human rights, fair labour practices and environmental health – are equally important. Keeping your supply chain sustainable not only has clear benefits for society and the environment, but also many benefits for your brand image, your finances and your long-term ability to retain a customer base.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.