The Green Supply Chain: an essential ambition
While the climate emergency is forcing companies to review many aspects of their business, what about the Supply Chain? Given the importance of e-commerce in today's economy, it is essential to combine these two issues to achieve a responsible supply chain. The actors that are suppliers, shippers, carriers and partners must all find solutions to reduce their impact without reducing their growth. To achieve this, the Green Supply Chain stands out as a foundation.
What is a Green Supply Chain?
Opting for a green Supply Chain, in other words one that is both environmentally and socially responsible, means making in-depth changes to its processes. This most often begins with the appointment of a Green Supply Chain manager who will be responsible for developing the entire sustainable Supply Chain, which includes logistics in particular.
A Green Supply Chain thus implies acting on different stages:
- The use of raw materials from sustainable sources
- The use of clean technologies
- Reduction and reuse of packaging
- Reduction of waste
- Optimization of transport flows
- Traceability of flows
- Responsibility for workers
What are the benefits of a Green Supply Chain?
For a long time, the Green Supply Chain appeared as a coquetry that did not apply to the greatest. Because this terminology is not new, it already has a past of ten years. However, climate change and its already concrete consequences all over the world are now pushing Supply Chain players to adopt new CSR methods and practices.
As a 2022 survey from Agility, whose Emerging Markets Logistics Index is a good indicator of trends, shows, this sector is particularly bullish. And this, without setting aside these essential aspects. China and India that come out on top are, like the other countries surveyed, also rated on their emissions reduction efforts and green initiatives.
The benefits are therefore greater than the additional costs that this choice may generate: starting with the reduction in the consumption of resources and CO2 emissions.
A responsible Supply Chain is automatically a lever for lower consumption for all players: electricity, water, fuel, all consumption is reduced.
Mechanically, the reduction in consumption, but also all the steps that make it possible to limit waste, promote the lowering of production and management costs.
While this may seem incidental in the face of climate change, companies cannot spare their reputation in this regard. In addition, faced with the expectations of new generations (only 19% of young people from Generation Z are ready to work for a company that is not in agreement with their values according to a study by Hays), it is essential to commit truly.
What actions should be put in place to make your Supply Chain more responsible?
As a shipper, you can implement various levers to make your Supply Chain responsible.
1. It starts with measuring your environmental footprint and carbon footprint across the entire supply chain. This therefore presupposes knowing those of the suppliers.
2. You must then rethink your strategy with regard to the sourcing of raw materials (for example by choosing local suppliers), packaging, but also modes of transport. The Green Supply Chain requires, in particular, the grouping of journeys and loadings and the rationalization of routes.
3. This also means thinking about the circular economy and therefore about reuse, within what is called reverse logistics.
A TMS for Green Supply Chain Management
Among the different solutions that lead to the creation of a Green Supply Chain, the adoption of a Transport Management System (TMS) is particularly useful. It allows, in addition to its many solutions, the creation of more responsible logistics plans by:
- The provision of the best transport options according to each destination
- Route optimization to reduce kilometers traveled and fuel consumption
- Consolidation of loads to reduce the number of transports
The implementation of a TMS tool is also a good way to digitize its Supply Chain and save production, while increasing productivity.
Due to the climate emergency and the changes that all of society must make, and as international trade increases, the Green Supply Chain is no longer an option. Thus, all solutions that promote the reduction of the environmental impact must be taken into account.