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Management Consulting

Sustainability Initiatives in Action: Enhance the Supply Chain


In my last post, I analyzed the benefits of building a case for sustainability. In this post, I highlight the benefits of sustainability in a business.

Leftover paint is an issue almost all people have dealt with at one time or another. The EPA estimates that every homeowner in the US has 3-4 gallons of leftover paint in the house. Fortunately, there are many recycling applications for unused paint such as:

  • Re-mixing, coloring, and re-selling
  • Used as an additive in cement manufacturing

Studies show that recycling one gallon of paint has the following effects:

  • Saves 13 gallons of water
  • Prevents using more 1 quart of oil
  • Eliminates 250,000 gallons of water pollution
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by nearly 14 pounds
  • Sets aside enough energy to power the average home for 3 hours

Armed with this information, US paint manufacturers came together to form a 501(c)(3) organization named PaintCare. This organization works to define paint stewardship programs and works with the legislature to pass paint stewardship laws. It also works directly with paint retailers and provides locations for consumers to bring unused paint. Subsequent legislation in eight states mandates that PaintCare programs be established and provide for the collection, transportation, and processing of unused paint.

Reduction of carbon emissions seems to be one topic on which almost everyone can agree.

Xcel Energy, based in Minneapolis, provides power to eight states in the western half of the US. Xcel plans to be producing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. To achieve this goal, it will take a significant investment in new infrastructure and technology.

Why is Xcel taking the lead? While it’s hard to cite the exact motivators, it’s clear the company evaluated the operating costs of old coal-fired plants, public buying trends, potential legislative directions, and the impact of emissions. Whatever the motivator, Xcel is changing its business model and defining a roadmap with “green” initiatives.

To learn more about developing and implementing a sustainability program 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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