Thursday, January 31, 2013

Greening the Supply Chain

Being green can mean more green. A socially responsible businesses not only helps the planet but also drives are more economical and sustainable business model.  Here are some tips to greening your supply chain to become a more eco-driven business while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

Vendor Support
Many contracting agreements and GPO's are driving Environmental Preferred Purchasing agreements and partnering with vendors that offer greener alternative products. Explore what options are available andbe amazed at the not only the green offerings but also the savings that are to be had. Remember to keep in mind long term savings. An eco-product might cost more upfront but evaluate the potential for savings overtime.

Create Review Criteria
Draft a policy for reviewing potential new products or services. Look for eco attributes or eco-options and evaluate potential cost savings remembering the long term sustainable approach. Creating a green scorecard and a green purchasing policy has helped many organization. Keep in mind that sustainable approaches tend to have long tail savings but can add up to signification numbers over time.

Team and Partnership
No one can be a lone soldier. Create a Green Team to help look for new areas in the value chain that can be greener.  They can create policy, help spread the word, and drive support through the organization. Partner with outside groups such as Practice GreenHealth. Learn what others just like you are doing to become more green while meeting the savings battle cry. There are resources, tools, and assistance waiting to make you successful.

Track your results and your savings. As with anything - what gets measured, get done. Outline from the start your goals and metrics and it will easier to track down the line. Even small green changes might not seem like a lot but tracking savings and environmental impact can be excellent tools to use to support broader bigger initiatives in the future.

Acknowledge wins when eco-minded changes are adding value, driving savings, and creating a more sustainable business model. Holding quarterly or annual awards for green supply chain efforts will highlight the work through out the organization and motivate future winners creating a sustainable process for continuous improvement. 

These tips will get you started on moving towards a green supply chain. Remember small changes can have a huge impact.  Is your business employing exciting methods to green your supply chain? Please share below.