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Sustainable Supply Chains - Research Paper Example

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Sustainability is defined as the ability to survive or sustain. Sustainable or green supply chain management can be roughly defined as the management of all activities right from the purchase from suppliers to taking back the disposed product from the customers with a special focus on improving the social and environmental impacts of those activities (New Zealand Council for Sustainable Development)…
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Sustainable Supply Chains
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Download file to see previous pages A more comprehensive definition of sustainability encompasses all three foundations of sustainability, including the people, economy and the environment. If only the social and environmental development is taking place that is referred to as “bearable” (Chick and Micklethwaite). If only the social and economic development is taking place, that is referred to as “equitable”, whereas, if only the environmental and economic development takes places, that is referred to as “viable” (Chick and Micklethwaite). Sustainability occurs only when all three dimensions develop simultaneously; that is, it is bearable, equitable and viable. A significant driver of this initiative is the government. The government can come up with measures such as environmental labels, licenses and product design guidelines (New Zealand Council for Sustainable Development). There are already a number of regulations in place for sustainability. These include U.S. Farm security and rural investment act (2002), European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), China ROHS, E.U. Cosmetics directive, E.U. Packaging Directive, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and REACH. In addition there are International Standards such as WRAP, FLA, ICTI CARE, ISO 14000 and ISO 26000 for addressing environmental causes (Business for Social Responsibility). For successfully realizing a sustainable supply chain, an organization needs to go through five major steps. The first if Business Case Development which requires looking at the external environment and study case studies of companies which have done so successfully in the past. An analysis should be done of the differences before and after this implementation (United Nations Global Impact). These initiatives have to be driven by the top management. After this study a commitment has to be made by the board members to work on the same. The second is “Risk, Gap and Scope assessment” which appreciates the fact that the sustainable supply chain initiative has a number of risks which could have a short term impact on finances or new operational bottlenecks. These risks have to be listed and mitigation plans have to be developed. A gap analysis between the current state and future state is required so that efforts could be made to bridge the gap. It is also essential to decide the scope of the initiative at this stage in line with organizational strategies and priorities (United Nations Global Impact). The third step is Supply chain identification which requires an internal assessment of the firm’s supply chain. The position that the company’s supply chain holds relative to other supply chains needs to be assessed (New Zealand Council for Sustainable Development). The next step is Implementation. In this step, the expectations of the organization are communicated to suppliers, distributors and all other partners in the upstream and downstream supply chains. Internal operations are realigned to adjust to the new priorities. The organizations try to build strategic partnerships if required to realize its goals. These may include partnerships with third party logistic providers, IT outsourcing firms, consultants and so on (Nunes, Junior and Ramos). Next, Measurement is done whereby new metrics have to be introduced to track performance on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I didn’t know how to start my document. "Sustainable Supply Chains" helped me out a lot! Especially the list of resources was valuable.
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