How to Improve Supply Chain Sustainability

By Rebecca Lam

30 July 2018

The supply chain for any organisation can be a long, complex and difficult to manage process – even before considering to improve the sustainability and efficiency.

In the current climate, reputational and environmental pressures are paramount to any company’s future. Building a sustainable supply chain will provide new selling opportunities within your business. It will also reduce costs and improve efficiencies, creating a better workplace for your employees and a more sustainable environment for the world. Here are some ways you can make the supply chain in your organisation more sustainable.


Map your supply chain

To begin making changes to the supply chain, you must first have a clear understanding of sustainability in the supply chain. Identify and prioritise the most important environmental and social challenges in your company and start there. Analyse the suppliers you do business with based on their performance against sustainability criteria and begin reducing the ones that are unsuitable to your global mindset. Focus on forming strong and positive partnerships with suppliers and subcontractors that value sustainability.  


Utilise technology and data

Supply chains are able to generate colossal data that was previously unattainable. Artificial intelligence and machine learning make it possible for manufacturers to pinpoint inefficiencies, automate decision making, and improve the customer buying experience, which will improve sustainability.

The data can also help build a better, eco-friendly logistics process. Choosing the right technology will reduce packaging, provide more efficient routes and source greener products from suppliers.


Develop training programmes

Transferring knowledge across the supply chain is needed to improve the sustainability and behavioural changes throughout. An easy way to do so, is to train members of the supply chain through online training modules and courses. There are many resources that can be accessed online that provide support to these efforts, with some tailored to specific sector needs.


Convey your values

A focus on sustainability in the supply chain is an excellent way to demonstrate your corporate values and working culture to your suppliers and customers. Through this, it will be easier to form lasting partnerships and attract new customers to the organisation.


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Rebecca Lam

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