3 Reasons Your Supply Chain Should Be Green

Most people don't realize the benefits of going green. Don't be one of those people.


You know those people who say going green will cost you more? Well, if you’re listening to them, they’re hurting your bottom line. Let's change that.

Reason #1: It'll Save You Money.

If you disagree, it’s because you’re thinking short-term. Your business is in it for the long haul, right? So shouldn’t your supply chain strategy be focusing on long-term financial performance? Analysis and empirical evidence have shown that making ‘green’ changes will lower energy and resource costs, resulting in higher profits. Take Wal-Mart for example. They called on suppliers to reduce packaging by 5%; smaller packages mean more units per cargo carrier, which translates to fewer cargo carriers. That saved 667,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released, and 66.7 million gallons of diesel fuel. 

Reason #2: Stay out of Trouble.

Going off reason #1, efficient management of resources and suppliers can reduce production costs. By this, I mean recycling and reusing raw materials. This results in less production of hazardous substances, preventing your company from being fined for violating environmental regulations. At this point, you’re not just saving money left and right, but up and down.

In the 2011 fiscal year, EPA enforcement actions required companies to pay over $152 million in civil penalties. Don’t be one of those companies.  



Reason #3: Get a Competitive Advantage.

Thanks to social media, the bridge between business and consumer is more like a narrow hallway. What you do (and don’t do) is public knowledge—and it matters. Positioning your company and products as environmentally friendly can give you a competitive edge over opponents in the marketplace. Not to mention, it’ll positively impact customers’ perception of your brand, strengthening your reputation. From a PR perspective, this is a huge win. People care and talk about these types of things, and word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing.

 Justin King, former Chief Executive of J Sainsbury—which runs the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom—explains:

“Sustainability will continue to rise higher up the agenda over the coming years, so it is key that brands work to ensure they can respond to consumer demand. Being a sustainable company is not about box ticking, it’s about future-proofing your business and building trust and brand loyalty that will last for years to come.”

Bonus Reason: It's the Right Thing to Do.

Oh, c’mon. I had to throw this one at you too. The EPA’s top 15 Clean Air Act enforcement actions of the 2011 fiscal year reduced emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and VOCs—resulting in health benefits and other environmental improvements valued at $15 to $36 billion each year. That means:

  • 1,800 to 4,500 avoided premature deaths
  • 1,200 avoided cases of chronic bronchitis
  • 2,800 avoided nonfatal heart attacks
  • 30,000 avoided asthma attacks
  • 2,700 avoided cases of acute bronchitis
  • 57,000 avoided cases of upper and lower respiratory symptoms

See, I knew you had a soft spot.


See How to Track and Monitor Events in Real-Time