Green. Sustainable. Environmentally friendly. No longer trendy buzz words casually thrown around by a few, we’re now living in an era where there is little-to-no separation between environmentalism and consumerism.
Businesses can’t afford to overlook the power their supply chain has to influence consumers’ ultimate purchasing decision. The majority of today’s customers expect the brands they support to do their part to be more environmentally friendly. 81% of survey respondents from a recent Nielsen poll agree. The good news is that now more than ever, when companies choose to “go green,” they often save money and benefit from a more socially responsible profile.
So how can your company take steps to make your supply chain more environmentally friendly? Let’s start by looking at six common areas of opportunity.
Materials and Manufacturing
Begin by evaluating your product and production process. You might be able to gain a wide array of benefits by making simple tweaks to the product design. Small changes such as reducing the product weight and eliminating unnecessary packaging or packaging materials can add up. Review all materials and strive to limit the use of any toxins or parts that require an excessive amount of energy to produce. Whenever possible, choose recycled materials for manufacturing and packaging as well. Finally, check in with your suppliers to ensure they are ethical and environmentally friendly. If not, you might want to do a thorough analysis of all your options.
Shipping and Transportation
Choose environmentally friendly wood pallets over their plastic or metal counterparts. Wood pallets have longer lifespans since they’re able to be repaired and are recyclable at the end of their use.
In addition to what type of pallet you’re using, consider their shipping containers. Utilize every square inch of space within each container and turn to technology for help. Some programs are designed to track where goods are going to consolidate shipments best and avoid shipping less than full boxes.
Keeping manufacturing and distribution within close proximity to markets, if possible, significantly reduces carbon emissions. Explore every option to optimize your transportation routes. This tactic can dramatically reduce the negative impact of shipping products. A “no idling” policy for all vehicles in your fleet is also helpful.
Monitoring and Collaboration
Today, most companies are striving to become more environmentally friendly. Sometimes, though, even small changes might be met with resistance. Help keep your employees on board by fostering a corporate culture that accepts and strives for supply chain sustainability. Often, education is the key to removing any barriers or resistance. Internal training programs could help bring everyone on board. Keep track of your successes and monitor your analytics to determine your progress.
Collaboration with like-minded business owners can help shed light on areas of opportunity within your own supply chain. By sharing knowledge and tactics, you can gain valuable insights that might work for you. In addition, consider your partnerships. By bringing a knowledgeable and experienced third-party logistics provider onto your team, you can gain considerable efficiencies in your overall supply chain.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner to help make your supply chain more environmentally friendly, contact Gorgo Group today. Located in Vineland, NJ, we’re a collection of companies that provides logistics services, pallets, pallet repair and recycling, and landscape mulch in New Jersey and the surrounding areas.