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Green Supply Chain Management

Posted on March 31, 2018 by Matt Tomasino There have been 0 comments

Implementing green management for small businesses has been shown to be a beneficial move on a variety of levels. One level is known as green supply chain management (GSCM), a different way of approaching in-office waste. It is looking at the full spectrum of running your business on a behind-the-scenes green scale. Several studies have researched the costs and consumer confidence regarding applying an Eco-friendly business plan and GSCM is determined an integral part.

Take a look at your small business supply chain and see if it might be a candidate for GSCM. It just may be an opportunity for your company to go green and reap the advantages of business and sustainability combined.

Defining GSCM

According to the Global Supply Chain Group,

“At the core of Green Supply Chain Management is the principle of reducing waste by increasing efficiencies. Effective management of resources and suppliers, can reduce production costs, promote recycling and also, the reuse of raw materials.”

As America barreled through the Industrial Revolution, waste was accepted as a collateral part of manufacturing. Convenience has always been way more important than the environment, until now.

Increasing efficiencies is a fancy way of saying, “Do it like the Europeans and Asians have done it for centuries.” Europeans and Asians have a longer history which taught, way before America was even conceived, that harvesting waste to recycle, repurpose and reuse is essential.

However, it seems Americans need studies and models to find their way to embracing green change so now we have Green Supply Chain Management.

Cost Comparison

Before you rule out a GSCM switch, studies have shown some good cost comparisons that could make it a win-win for your small business.

Research published in the Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management concluded that,

“...three GSCM practices, namely, green procurement, green logistics and green manufacturing in SMEs [small to medium enterprises] exert a positive effect on environmental collaboration, with green manufacturing exerting a higher effect than the other two constructs. In turn, higher levels of environmental collaboration inspired higher levels of SME financial performance.”

GSCM may entail some overlap costs but once the system is in place anything from non-toxic packaging to industrial cleaning supplies will pay for themselves. This can be found in competitive, environmental and especially health cost savings (naturally cleaner environments prevent office illness and ‘sick building syndrome’).

Your Small Biz Approach

Presented at the 12th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing, a paper titled ‘Green Supply Chain Management, Environmental Collaboration and Sustainability Performance’ stated that GSCM was an “environmental innovation” describing how,

“GSCM aims to minimize or eliminate wastage's including hazardous chemical, emissions, energy and solid waste along supply chain such as product design, material resourcing and selection, manufacturing process, delivery of final product and end-of-life management of the product.”

For your small business, this could give you an idea on how to approach your own GSCM implementation. Ask yourself some questions, such as:

  • What kind of packaging do we receive or use?
  • How effective is our recycling program?
  • How much waste do we have and how can we reduce it?
  • Can we use greener vendors?

Below, taken from the GSCM Global Conference paper, a list of import protocols may help you answer these and other questions.

Packaging

  • Downsize
  • Use “green” packaging materials such as compostable products
  • Promote recycling and reuse programs
  • Cooperate with vendors to standardize packaging
  • Encourage and adopt returnable packaging methods
  • Minimize material uses and time to unpack
  • Use a recyclable pallet system
  • Save energy in warehouses

Transportation

  • Deliver goods directly to user site
  • Use alternative fuel vehicles
  • Group orders together, rather than in smaller batches
  • Invest in vehicles that are designed to reduce environmental impacts
  • Plan fossil fuel saving vehicle routes

Logistics

  • Collect used products and packaging from customers for recycling
  • Return packaging and products to suppliers for reuse
  • Require suppliers to collect their packaging materials

 

Creating a Green Supply Chain Management is a mainstream way to get on board for a practical, sustainable approach to small and large business alike. It’s about time free-enterprise frivolity gets reigned in and now is the best time to make it possible. Have your small business become a part of the growing trend of reversing corporate waste and embracing a greener future.


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Your Green Business and was tagged with COMPOSTABLE, Green Supply Chain Management, RECYCLED-UPCYCLED, small business, SUSTAINABLE

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