There are many reasons why companies should strive to make their supply chains a little more earth-friendly. While the altruistic case for doing so is obvious, there are also benefits for businesses to reap in terms of efficiency and costs, but it will take significant buy-in at basically every step of the supply chain to truly achieve those goals.
A large and growing number of organizations with varying involvement in the global supply chain are taking notice of the need to go green, and often partner up with groups to help them achieve that goal, such as The Sustainability Consortium. Cornell University recently joined TSC, which also counts among its membership some of the world's biggest retailers and manufacturers, as well as environmental organizations.
TSC exists to bring greener, cleaner science to various types of organizations - including massive businesses whose operations have a negative environmental impact - so that partners can reduce their carbon footprint. By partnering with major non-profits and universities, all involved can work together to remain on the cutting edge of finding more reasonable solutions to these problems.
Meanwhile, the auto giant Mercedes-Benz recently announced it will start testing a pilot project to increase transparency about emissions related to the supply chain through which it sources its cobalt, according to Green Car Congress. The metal, which is used in the batteries that power increasingly all-electric vehicles, is a necessary part of the company's efforts to make nothing but carbon-neutral vehicles by 2039, and for true compliance, luxury automaker needs to reduce emissions for its supply chain as well.
To do so, Mercedes-Benz is utilizing the blockchain as a means of monitoring not only how the cobalt it uses gets from Point A to Points B, C, D and so on - but also how that can lead to CO2 emissions, the report said. Because of the size of its reach and its heft in the industry, the company will also have the power to demand compliance with these new transparency standards from all its partners, potentially reducing emissions and enhancing transparency to increase efficiency.
Why blockchain works
The technology behind blockchain is growing more common for companies to adopt as they attempt to green-ify their supply chains overall, according to sustainability and business expert Mike Scott, writing for Forbes. When more devices are connected to the internet of things, and churning out more data about supply chains than ever before, all that information needs to be traceable and easy to parse, which the blockchain does by design.
That way, every bit of data can be tracked at every step of the supply chain, and can improve innovative companies' reputations in their supply chain, the report said.
With all this in mind, companies should always strive to get a better understanding of where their operations fit into their supply chain partners' long-term plans, and do what they can to comply with ever-evolving standards around efficiency - both in their operations and with the planet in mind.