Why Sustainability Matters for Supply Chains
When it comes to sustainability, a lot of the attention has historically gone to the resource gathering and manufacturing of products, rather than the supply chains that link them. Of course, it’s easy to see why, since everything from mining and deforestation to factory pollution and groundwater contamination have had their turn in the spotlight.
In recent years, however, that spotlight has begun to shift toward supply chains, and businesses are starting the feel the pressure from customers, employees, investors, and the government. As such, supply chain sustainability has emerged as a key initiative for many businesses.
Even without all that outside pressure, improving your supply chain sustainability can provide the following five benefits for your company.
1. SUPPLY CHAINS HAVE THE GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
According to McKinsey & Company, supply chains account for more than 90% of consumer goods companies’ environmental impact. Not only that, but those same companies’ supply chains are responsible for more than 80% of all greenhouse-gas emissions.
While this is obviously not an ideal situation for supply chain managers to be in, it does present the greatest opportunity for change. By focusing on sustainability efforts, supply chains can significantly reduce their social and environmental costs.
2. SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS CAN GREATLY REDUCE YOUR COSTS
Speaking of reducing costs, switching to a more sustainable supply chain model can have a huge effect on your company’s bottom line as well. Of course, one of the biggest obstacles for most businesses—especially smaller companies—is affording the large upfront costs this requires. With that said, like many investments, these sustainable changes will often pay for themselves in the long term.
Fortunately, there have been many pioneering businesses that have proven that sustainability and operational efficiency often go hand in hand. For example, if a company invests in more compact packaging, that will lead to fewer shipments. This not only lowers your carbon footprint but will also provide significant cost savings over time.
3. IT HELPS BUILD A STRONGER BRAND AND CORPORATE CULTURE
When it comes to your brand perception, standing behind a strong, sustainable supply chain is attractive to your investors and customers alike. In the past few years, the media has reported on many companies who have conducted irresponsible supply chain practices—and in some cases, this has really hurt the companies’ stock prices.
Even further, your brand perception can go a long way toward attracting—and retaining—the best and brightest talent. Millennials, in particular, are looking for more than just a steady paycheck, as they seek greater purpose in their work. That’s why companies are putting a greater emphasis on creating a stronger corporate culture, and one of the best ways to do that is by increasing sustainability and charitable efforts.
4. SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS HELP KEEP YOUR BUSINESS COMPLIANT AND MITIGATE RISK
Governments around the world are cracking down on environmentally harmful business operations. These are no longer mere slaps on the wrist, either, as significant fines have been issued lately, enough to make less financially stable companies collapse. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take a proactive approach to sustainability to avoid any potential risk of fines or other disciplinary actions.
Government regulations cover many areas, including:
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Invasive mining
- Water shortages
- Air pollution
5. IT CAN HELP YOU RETAIN CUSTOMERS AND BOOST SALES
According to Nielsen, nearly half of all U.S. consumers say they would change their purchasing habits to reduce their impact on the environment. Not only that, but researchers at MIT’s Sloan School of Management found that consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for products that are sustainably sourced and have transparent supply chain management.
Why does this matter to supply chain companies? As these numbers continue to increase, more and more businesses are going to look to their supply chain partners to help meet the sustainability demands of their customers. And if they can’t, they will consider taking their business elsewhere. In fact, a 2019 survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that 65% of its corporate members used environmental metrics to inform their supply chain management decisions.
FLORIDA FREEZER IS THE SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNER YOU NEED
Your customers, employees, and investors are keeping you accountable for meeting your supply chain sustainability goals, and you can rely on Florida Freezer to help you get there. Our team of logistics professionals has been helping our customers succeed for over 50 years, and they can do the same for you.
We are a family-owned and operated 3PL company that specializes in transportation coordination and cold storage in the United States and Canada. Contact us today to learn how we can leverage the latest supply chain technology to maximize your operational efficiency and minimize your environmental impact.