Sustainable Supply Chain
01 Apr 2018

How Green is Your Supply Chain? And why it matters. Part II

by siel
on 01 April 2018
Sustainability - 2018

OK, so we’re back as promised for part II of our ‘go green or go home’ blog. This time around, read not just about what people do but, more importantly, how you can do it too. Enjoy!

How to Lower Your Footprint

There’s this myth that everyone seems to believe: the more sustainable you want to be, the more it’ll cost you. Yet like most myths, this one’s 100% false, as sustainability will even end up saving you money. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find some examples on how to reduce costs all while turning your supply chain a deeper shade of green.

The Devil is in the Details

A company is only as green as its supply chain. Start off by measuring the footprint of your supply chain as it currently stands. It might seem a nearly heroic quest to calculate your entire footprint to a tee, because many stakeholders are involved in your company's process, but with the appropriate data collection system, you can make this happen. Together with all your stakeholders, you can start analysing and streamlining all this shared data to get a full picture of your supply chain. Through this process, it will be easier for you to calculate your actual corporate footprint. (Check out how we can help you in this quest at the bottom of this blog.) So yeah, your supply chain exists of many intricate processes and stakeholders. But once you get everyone to work together and work as efficiently as possible, you are on your way to green.

Half-full Won’t Do

Sustainability rule number one: quit shipping half-full containers, that’s so 2017! A case study has shown that there could be a 15% reduction in container shipments if this were no longer the case. This boils down to a 583 ton reduction in CO2 emissions,  just by optimizing the container utilisation levels. Carbon reduction goes hand-in-hand with cost reduction, as a lower fuel consumption means that the logistics network and its resources are used more efficiently. Simple maths.

Secondly, logistics planning is half the battle and can make a huge difference. A study by several universities in the US and Hong Kong concluded that “determining how frequently supply deliveries are made could be as important in mitigating carbon emissions as the energy efficiency of the vehicles used to make these deliveries”. And they’re right: 57% of logistics related greenhouse gas emissions are due to heavy-duty trucks. So think and plan ahead!

David, meet Goliath

More and more big companies are taking the lead. Walmart for example implemented a Sustainability Index to study the impact of their entire supply chain. Procter & Gamble also started their own Supply Chain Scorecard project. The reason for these projects is, as Spock (our personal hero) would say, is highly logical: to meet their consumers’ demands for environmentally-friendly products whilst simultaneously building a more efficient supply chain. In 2009, Montepaschi Group implemented a Supply Chain Sustainability Guideline, but you could call it a cost optimization plan too due to its total savings of 148 million, where 14% of savings came from logistics & security areas, actions focused on efficiency improvement processes to achieve a ‘paperless’ office and optimizing service contracts in a sustainable manner. From all this we can and should take away this: it’s time to play with the big boys and girls.

What Now?

It seems that the greener supply chain is going to be the one that is smarter and better connected to its partners. And that greener supply chain will end up bringing in more green too.

Pro Alliance is here to make the ‘smarter and better connected’ part happen. We provide you with the opportunity to work with all your stakeholders in order to get a clear picture of your entire supply chain process. On top of that, the platform will cleanse, analyse and streamline all your data for you. Our ‘Streamliner’ app will be your playing field for the scheduling of shipments and experimenting with collaboration between your various suppliers. It’ll find your perfect match, with potential saving of up to 60% both for amount of kilometers driven as well as CO2 emissions… oh, and probably an equally drastic decrease is the number of swear words you’ll need to use on a daily basis. Contact us to make your supply chain greener, smarter and better connected!

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