Connect resiliency to sustainability
Building sustainability into your company’s supply chain is not only good for the planet — it can be great for your business. Done right, improving the sustainability of your supply chain generates cost savings, new efficiencies, better partnerships, and positive brand equity. In the process, you’ll enhance resiliency across the board.
But getting there is no small feat. A truly sustainable supply chain involves addressing every aspect of your processes, from how your organization ideates and designs products to last-mile logistics. At each point, your company can take actions to limit the environmental impact of your business and improve the world.
Consider these four key factors to get started:
Design lower-impact products
Supply chain sustainability starts at the beginning — with product lifecycle management (PLM). The challenge is developing products that use fewer environmentally sensitive materials and producing them more sustainably.
For example, companies may reconfigure products by using recycled materials or less packaging. Some may focus on processes that use less water or electricity. Or perhaps they may create longer-lasting products that don’t require replacement.
Modern PLM solutions make all the difference in designing better products. They enable companies to be socially and environmentally responsible by developing products with unified processes within a single solution. This streamlines the design processes and how engineering requirements are managed.
Improve supply sourcing
Sourcing sustainable products and raw materials effectively and efficiently is key to creating a sustainable supply chain.
In the past, companies may have been tempted by cost-saving offers by disreputable suppliers. But in today’s ESG-focused era, a bad apple in your supply chain can significantly damage your brand.
Assessing and improving your sourcing decisions will put your company on a sustainable path and give your customers one more thing to love about your products.
Plan for sustainability
Sustainable businesses are focused on minimizing waste and making the most of the planet’s finite resources. And getting there requires effective supply chain planning solutions. LiDestri Foods, a New York-based company that produces popular tomato sauce and salsa brands, provides an ideal example.
The company goes to great lengths to ensure it never wastes raw materials, which means using raw/fresh tomatoes within days. This requires meticulous supply chain planning and close coordination with its network of growers and shippers.
LiDestri adopted a cloud-based demand planning platform to do just that. Thanks to increased visibility and forecast accuracy, the company has reduced “disposals” by 50% — saving more than $2 million a year.
Improve product packaging
Product packaging is just as important as the product itself, especially when it comes to sustainability. Finding ways to improve packaging by reducing its environmental impact is essential for creating sustainable supply chains.
LiDestri highlights the impact such efforts can have. The company developed a new package called the Living Jar, an ultra-clear, blow-molded, high-barrier plastic PET jar that replaces glass packaging. It’s lighter, shatterproof, and more environmentally friendly. The company was also the first in its industry to remove cardboard between jars as flats, eliminating another significant source of waste.