Put your effort where it will do the most good: Green supply chain practices

Efforts are the best indicator of interests, and putting them where they will do you maximum good adds on to putting in more and more each day. Since the last few decades environmental issues have been rising, and are spreading faster than forest fire! With the ongoing hustle and bustle about generating awareness for the environment or the depreciating environment, different stakeholders like the government and the customers have started pressurizing the businesses to act responsibly. Indeed, corporate sectors have started putting efforts in integrating their business with green supply chain practices. Such practices are a boon to mitigate environmental degradation and in the process control air, water, and waste pollution through sustainable efforts in the right direction, thereby adopting and implementing green practices in each and every business operation.
A supply chain is a network that consists of all parties involved like the supplier, the manufacturer, the distributor, the wholesaler, the retailer and the final customer either directly or indirectly, in producing and delivering products or services to ultimate customers. Now, delving into green supply chain practices; it is simply integrating environmental practices into the traditional supply chain practices. Reducing and controlling the harmful impacts of supply chain on the environment, adoption of ecological design, sourcing green materials, and providing green training under ethical leadership is what constitutes green supply chain. This can include processes such as supplier selection, purchase of material, product design, product manufacturing, packaging, and assembling and distribution which together result in value addition or value creation.

Adoption of such green supply practices like designing eco friendly products using less material, minimum operations, implenting green purchasing policies to reduce harmful emissions and proper and careful use and disposal of hazardous materials can also help in achieving economies of scale. Optimizing truck loads, routing of distribution and moving over to fuel efficient tools and machines in case of logistics are some simple yet very efficient ways to contribute towards a safer and better environment. It comes as a win-win situation for both the business as well as the environment, because adhering to green supply chain practices can not only reduce the environmental pollution and production costs but can also spur economic growth, and eventually help the business create a competitive advantage in terms of having a reputable brand image, satisfaction and hence loyalty and better business opportunities.

A lot of times, especially in such a competitive environment, looking at other businesses’ practices triggers firms to act in a socially responsible and ethical way themselves. Green supply chain management comes with a host of benefits that include financial, social and ofcourse environmental benefits.

When we talk of financial benefits they can be:
• increased revenue
• reduced costs
• enhanced customer service

Social benefits include:
• reduced undesirable community impacts
• enhanced security
• increased safety
• superior health benefits
Environmental benefits can be summarized as:
• reduced waste
• increased energy efficiency
• reduced water, air emissions
• reduced fuel consumption

Apart from these advantages, channelizing your efforts in the right direction can also improve operations and agility by speeding up innovation, increase adaptability in terms of continuous and innovative improvements and finally aid in better alignment of business processes and principles. There are a few players in the industry who religiously follow such practices. Safexpress, one of the leading logistics providers in the country has totally redefined the way supply chain functions in the country through their pioneering initiatives. The company has designed and developed an in-house mobile app called the ‘Green App’ which is centered around productivity and optimization, and has immensely helped to reduce its carbon footprint by digitizing its business process instead of relying on paper.

Safexpress has been driving its ‘Go Green with Safexpress’ campaign for the last decade. In the process, it has educated millions about the importance of going green and has helped countless firms develop a Green Supply Chain.

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