From product design to packaging, manufacturing, and transportation, more and more companies today are taking steps towards sustainability in the supply chain.

What does supply chain sustainability really mean?  According to the Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding and conducting research related to sustainability in global and domestic supply chains, sustainable supply chain management involves integrating environmentally and financially responsible practices into the complete supply chain life-cycle. The organization also outlines sustainability priorities as environmental stewardship, conservation of resources, reducing carbon footprint, financial savings, and social responsibility.

So, what are top companies doing when it comes to sustainability? For many companies, their ethical commitment and vision are a guiding light for their sustainability practices. Take Starbucks for example. No stranger to corporate social responsibility (CSR), with countless initiatives that invest in their employees as well as the communities of their café locations, it comes as no surprise that the coffee giant also practices ethical sourcing. Beyond ensuring their tea, cocoa, and of course, coffee meet high quality standards, help manage waste, protect water quality, and conserve water and energy, Starbucks also sets high standards when it comes to their manufactured goods (those creative and pretty mugs and thermoses). The company’s purchasers work directly with a diverse group of suppliers who also share their social and environmental values to negotiate contract for the products needed in Starbucks’ operations or to sell to customers. When it comes to sustainable supply chain practices, Starbucks is a rock star and a prime example of a company whose ethical commitments are a core component of their brand and as a result drive consumer appeal.

Green initiatives, supplier diversity programs, and consumer impact are among the topics Associate Director Jennifer Ulrich will be speaking about next week when she engages business students at Immaculata University. A frequent guest speaker at local colleges and universities, Ulrich will be discussing the topic of Sustainability in the Supply Chain. During the presentation, Ulrich will leverage her experience in strategic sourcing to discuss the many drivers (both ethical and non) of a sustainable supply chain provide real-life examples of the decisions companies need to make when launching sustainable initiatives. 
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Strategic Sourceror

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