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Management Consulting

Building a Strong Case for Sustainability Programs

Previously, I discussed the importance of implementing a sustainability program into your business. Today, I analyze the benefits of building a case for sustainability.

Supply chain organizations must take a comprehensive look at their end-to-end operations to determine where both financial and socially responsible changes can benefit both the environment and the company. These opportunities should then be incorporated into the overall corporate strategic roadmap.

There are many links in the supply chain that companies can evaluate to identify opportunities for sustainability programs.

Looking at these links through a lens of environmental impact may provide a new opportunity to drive innovation while reducing the company’s environmental footprint. Items to evaluate are recurring costs like warehouse power, HVAC, and fleet fuel. Other costs to evaluate include obsolescence, waste disposal (e.g., electronic waste, manufacturing byproduct, tires), and packaging materials.

Categorize the magnitude of the impact on the environment considering social perception, waste/pollution impact and regulatory risk of each. This evaluation generates a view of which areas are most important to both customers and companies. The sum of the impact assessment and costs gives an area to target in the supply chain.

Analyzing these processes and standards will generate a list of target opportunities for sustainability program improvement.

Evaluate these opportunities in terms of both financial and environmental costs to determine the best green initiative candidates to be integrated into the overall supply chain strategic roadmap.

For example, are there long-term investments (e.g., renewable energy) that can reduce reliance on the grid while reducing long-term energy costs? What short-term projects can be implemented to change current operations (e.g., revised reverse logistics processes, new transportation routing software)? Incorporating this green initiative component in your supply chain roadmap will ensure your organization is considering these costs as you look to the future.

To learn more about developing and implementing sustainability programs into your business, you can download our guide here. Or, you can download the guide below.

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Bob Vanek, Chief Strategist, Supply Chain, Perficient

Bob Vanek has more than 20 years of experience in delivering supply chain solutions across a variety of industries. In previous roles, he served as a subject matter expert at Slalom Consulting and Accenture.

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