Focusing on sustainability in supply chain
These days consumers are demanding to know more about the products they’re buying. We want to know everything from who made them to how they’re sold.
In Australia alone, logistics and supply chain roles give work to around 1.2 million people and the modern supply chain is global and complicated. This means that products can pass through hundreds of hands, often through manual processes which can make transparency a complicated issue.
The management of resources is a key focus when it comes to building a sustainable future. Humans are extremely efficient when it comes to exploiting resources. Unfortunately, the scale of environmental devastation that has resulted from this has been steadily increasing for years. We have a population of 7.3 billion people that represents only 0.01% of all living things but to date humankind has caused the loss of 83% of all wild animals and half of plants.
It’s no secret – we’ve not been kind to Mother Earth.
Fortunately, due to rising civic activism there is a rapidly increasing awareness around issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, energy generation, food production, inequality and global equity. The momentum is finally growing to drive much-needed progress on critical environmental and social issues.
However, when companies are required to invest money, effort, time and tools into implementing change, these hurdles can make it more difficult to convince organisations to take the necessary steps in the right direction. As technology continues to develop, machine-learning is rapidly changing end-to-end supply chain visibility making it more important than ever before for companies to develop sustainable processes.
As a business leader, to ensure the lasting success of your organisation it is critical to understand the importance of embracing sustainability.
Increase customer satisfaction
Being more transparent can help to align your business with positive economic and social values which in turn helps to minimise customer concern. When supply chain activities can be one of the areas most damaging to human and labour rights issues, taking the measures to actualise sustainability and transparency can increase stakeholder happiness and customer satisfaction.
Every company talks about being customer-centric. When consumers begin placing more of a value on ethical and sustainable working conditions every element of your supply chain plays an important role in delivering customer satisfaction. Therefore, ensuring that neither the environment nor the workers in the supply chain are exploited will help to build a better relationship between your business and the market.
Avoid reputational damage
Supply chain information is now more accessible for end-users than ever before. Barcoding and blockchain technology has radically transformed the definition of supply chain transparency. To understand more about how blockchain is transforming supply chain sustainability click here.
It should no longer be possible for businesses to be unknowingly complicit in exploitation. This means that organisations that continue to allow these negative practices will eventually suffer a negative effect on the business as a whole.
Lead by example
It is almost impossible to understand how much we still need to do to change course towards a genuinely sustainable economy without an honest account of business activities. It’s so important to know when apathy trumps activism, when non-renewable energy sources are used instead of renewable sources, when wrong turns are taken. Knowledge is power and it is by learning more about where the pitfalls are that can make educated choices as consumers and as organisations.
The best part is, big companies are getting on board. It’s everyone’s responsibility to drive up operating standards. When huge brands raise awareness of sustainability by making public promises to change, others can follow suit. Peer companies that share similar supply chains can set best practices and raise the standards for sustainability performance.
Society’s interest in sustainability is more than just a craze, it’s forward-looking when there’s no going back. All businesses need an understanding of the value they stand to gain through applying initiatives related to sustainable processes.
For more information about how you can help your business live up to noble consumerism, click here to check out our interview with Laura Doonin, Partner and Director of Moustache Republic.
Do you have experience building a sustainable and transparent supply chain? We’d love to hear about your experience!
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