The push for greener, more environmental supply chains continues as the new year continues on. With many lobbying to establish the importance of environmental initiatives, businesses will likely have more ways to look for future efficiency measures. But why should they continue to do this soon?

We can list several reasons, but here are some prominent ones based on recent events.

1. Aligning customer and company
It can be good to be on the same page as your customer base. Along with transparency measures, green business initiatives are a way to bridge the gap between the customer and the business, by acknowledging what the former is looking for. This can also come from the increasing prominence of younger consumers with a greater preference for environmentally friendly practices, including production and delivery.

According to Pew Research Center survey data, 59 percent of Americans are willing to pay higher costs for more strict environmental regulations. While there are differences depending on political leanings, overall the majority of citizens seem to think this, according to data from the source. Across several different age ranges and education levels, the majority again and again comes out in favor of regulation.

In a DC Velocity piece, Home Depot Vice President of Domestic and International Transportation Michelle Livingstone explained the rationale behind her company's efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"The reason why Home Depot is so committed, and why I think the other companies are too, is that it is the right thing to do," she said. She also added that it's what the customers expect from the brand, saying that "If there is no better reason to become very green, it is that customers are expecting the companies they do business with to be sustainable and to make good decisions on that."

2. Major companies are paying attention
Microsoft may not be primarily a retail company, but its interest in sustainability could carry over to retail business owners. Green Biz reported these kinds of corporate interests as one of the big "career moves" of last year that defined green business activity. Microsoft in particular selected Jim Hanna to work as its director of data center stability. Nissan also appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer for the first time, the source said.

If this trend continues, the pressure could be on for companies to adopt similar executives to drive transformation further. Someone in this position could have the authority to direct environmentally friendly programs and lead a business to both efficiency and sustainability. This can include supplier relationship management steps to make managing third parties easier and keep these partners in step with the organization's developing growth.

3.Greening could parallel other kinds of supply chain developments
A Forbes piece on the possible 2017 changes to supply chains mentioned the rise of "socially conscious product development." It could make sense for companies to transform their processes to be greener if they are already moving in that direction.

Whether they embrace green practices because they think it's good for the planet or because it's valued by the customers, all companies can try to challenge themselves to achieve lower rates of emissions through strong policies.
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