June 8, 2018    3 min read

Historically, supply chains have not been known for their sustainability. Supply chains can cause severe amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and use water where resources are scarce. As our environment is changing and resources are dwindling, there needs to be a widespread effort to make businesses accountable for their supply chain.

Moving towards a sustainable supply chain

Luckily, sustainable supply chains are becoming more and more prominent. Big corporations are making a move towards better environmental practices. Global brands like Nike and Apple are asking more from their supply chain, raising the bar on renewable energy. They are requiring that members of their supply chain adhere to these standards.

Businesses have begun to enlist auditing agencies to ensure these supply chain members are upholding these new environmental standards. Consumers and companies are looking for transparency when it comes to their supply chain. They want honest business practices that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, and they want you to prove it.

The need for transparency

Transparency is one of the key requests people have for manufacturing inventory and its supply chain. Not only does sustainability involve the environment, but it also involves taking care of the workers involved. An example of this would be the coffee supply chain. Now there are systems that can monitor the supply chain for manufacturing inventory and show where the downfalls are occurring. If companies are not abiding by the rules, it highlights their poor performance and calls for action.

Making the switch to sustainability

Not all supply chains can be made sustainable overnight; some supply chains are small, while others are global. Making fundamental changes to any supply chain in difficult. Implementing tangible change and a shift in thinking towards sustainability is an even greater challenge. On the journey towards sustainability, a supply chain can be divided into different stages depending on its level of commitment and experience with the initiative.

The early stages are considering basic and progress to an improving status. The most advanced stage of sustainability for a supply chain is leading. The leading companies set best practice and are striving for innovation constantly. They are the leaders because their changes have made a significant, positive impact. They have set the bar high and given examples for others to follow.

Reaping the benefits

With a more sustainable supply chain, industries that have manufacturing inventory can reap the benefits. When communicating more with supply chain members to join the sustainability movement, many other features of business can improve along the way. A supply chain may experience improved efficiency, enhanced communication, streamlined deliveries and high-quality innovation. These traits allow a company to be more competitive and have a stronger stake in the market.

A sustainable supply chain is inevitable. Companies need to make considerable changes in order to keep up with their competition. Consumers have access to more information than ever before, allowing them to make informed decisions about what products they buy. If your company isn’t transparent about its supply chain, then it is likely that consumers will go somewhere else. Overall, sustainability is going to be the operating mode of the future so it’s time to join in.

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