The Green Supply Chain

October 30, 2012, 1:41 pm Climate Friendly Yahoo!7

Climate Friendly explain the green supply chain and how it can benefit your business....

The Green Supply Chain

In our two part series, we look at what the green supply chain is and what you can do to be part of it...

Part 1

If you supply businesses or individuals that require you to act with environmental responsibility or if you yourself demand that of your suppliers, you are part of the green supply chain. If you’re not currently in this group, shifting your business into the green supply chain can help you attract more customers and reduce your costs.

What’s it all about?

The green supply chain movement has largely been driven by customer demand stemming from a broadening awareness and acceptance of human environmental impacts. Business began responding to this trend by assessing their inputs and products through a green lens for the first time and taking steps in the direction of sustainability. This process is being continually refined and the bar is continually being raised.

Related: How to Pass On The Impact of the Carbon Price

For instance, in last decade we have seen a shift from businesses promoting themselves simply as ‘environmentally friendly’ to using identifiable third party assurance labels. Examples include; the federal government’s ‘National Carbon Offset Standard’ for carbon neutral products and services, and ‘Shop the Frog’ for Rainforest Alliance Certified products and services.

All businesses should be aware of this customer demand trend as it applies in the B2B space, B2C and increasingly B2G (business-to-government).

“Consumers will continue to become more demanding and empowered. In fact, they will become active partners in the supply chain and will directly drive product development” says recent paper ‘Future Supply Chains 2020’ published by the Transport and Logistics Centre.

What are some specific examples of how businesses have grown by being part of the green supply chain?

Many large businesses have quite specific supply chain requirements. Examples of well-known organisations with supply chain requirements include the major banks, City of Sydney, Coles and Woolworths.

Many of these organisations mandate that businesses that wish to supply them have an environmental policy, environmental management strategy or are taking active steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

Some won’t have specific or strict requirements, but a focus on sustainability may just win you the contract, explains Jacqueline Arias of Republica Coffee:

“Being carbon neutral I was able to push Coles to increase the number of Republica products on the shelves from one to seven. I can absolutely assure you that part of the reason was our carbon neutral positioning. The range is also supplied to Jetstar and Virgin, where our ethical position helps us win these contracts.” Jacqueline Arias, Republica Coffee

Related: How Carbon Offsets Work

Another example comes from Hilton Australasia:

“Providing a carbon offset event solution has helped us win business from companies that mandate environmental responsibility from their suppliers.” Benjamin Grimshaw, Hilton Hotels Australasia

As you can see, businesses both large and small are increasingly seeing benefits to being part of the green supply chain and in some cases are required to be part of it. Next week we will explore specifically what steps your business can take to get on board.

As always, we’d love to hear from you about your initiatives and help you on the journey to become more sustainable. Join in the conversation today on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or email us at takeaction@climatefriendly.com.