Guide

Green supply chain management guide

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Interest in environmentally sustainability -- or “going green” -- has skyrocketed in recent years. Manufacturers have responded by investing more time and money into initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, cut production waste and improve the environmental efficiency of their supply chains. In this green supply chain management (SCM) guide, you’ll find tips for selecting green SCM software, learn some green SCM best practices, discover how to use green SCM in manufacturing and read advice for building a sustainable supply chain.

Set goals before choosing green SCM software

Selecting the right green SCM software will help ensure that supply chain sustainability initiatives run smoothly. There are a number of factors to look at during the green SCM software selection process. Before getting started, it is essential to understand both what your organization's corporate goals and objectives are around corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as what are your company's specific program goals to achieve these objectives. Opting for an installed versus Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment is a secondary consideration.

Top green supply chain software best practices

Green supply chain software is a valuable tool for cutting waste and costs. To get the most out of their green supply chain software, manufacturers should familiarize themselves with some industry green supply chain software best practices. Top green SCM best practices include leveraging the tools that you already have, using technology for communication between stakeholders and suppliers, avoiding unnecessary and wasteful activities and encouraging customers to also go green through their purchases.

How to use technology to build a sustainable supply chain

In response to regulatory requirements and customer expectations, many manufacturers are looking to sustainable supply chain technology. Having the right technology in place will help drive supply chain sustainability. Besides helping product development, procurement, and supply chain teams meet CSR requirements, implementation of so-called green supply chain programs, in many cases, is also lowering costs.

Four ways to apply green supply chain technology to manufacturing

Manufacturers can make their operations more environmentally-friendly -- and lower costs -- by adopting green supply chain technology. The most beneficial green supply chain technology creates sustainable environmental benefits as well as improves company bottom lines. That's why, across industries, companies are extending CSR and green activities to their suppliers. Manufacturers have a variety of choices when it comes to applying green SCM, including packaging engineering and redesign, materials substitution, certification and logistics optimization.

This was first published in July 2010

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