Top 10 Tips for Operating a Sustainable Supply Chain

What is the meaning of sustainability? Sustainability has been at the forefront of people’s concerns for years, but COP26 and similar events have highlighted the real need for change and sustainability, sustainability is (simply) meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of generations futures to meet their own needs.

We share ten tips supply chain professionals should keep in mind.

1. Use recyclable materials

Many companies use plastic, which is not biodegradable, it is important that companies consider alternative recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper or bubble wrap as they are all biodegradable and versatile so they can be used. for most, if not all, types of products.

2. Use alternative packaging materials

Many companies are already exploring avenues for herbal products, so why not explore herbal packaging? Instead of using styrofoam packing peanuts, consider using air cushions made from recyclable materials, not only are they cheaper to buy and ship, but they are better for the environment because they can be recycled and reused.

3. Minimize production and supply chain processes

Your suppliers and industrial partners are there to support you, work in partnership with them to reduce the environmental impact of your supply chain. Many vendors and businesses can reduce or even eliminate their paper use by going mobile at certain stages of the process.

4. Avoid images and text on packaging

Personalizing your packaging can add a special touch to the consumer, but at what cost? Customizing your packaging can take more resources and use more materials. Instead of using expensive printing ink or the like, consider options such as inks made from milk protein, rather than inks made from harmful chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and human life. wildlife.

5. Reuse packaging

Every business owner knows that packaging can be expensive, so why not use customer-reusable packaging? Not only will you get more value from the packaging, but it will have a positive environmental impact as less single-use materials will go to landfills. Organic fabric bags, unlike plastic bags, can be reused by the consumer, giving them another life rather than going to the landfill and polluting the environment.

6. Ship items in bulk

Selling your products in larger quantities can help reduce packaging waste, as the items can be packed in the same biodegradable package. Not only do you waste less packaging, but shipping these items in bulk rather than multiple trips for small shipments can reduce the carbon emissions of vehicles involved in the logistics process.

7. Reduce the size of the package

One size fits all approach does not apply to packaging, you should not use the same packaging size for all items, but rather pack smartly, use the correct box size to avoid unnecessary waste of space and / or materials.

8. Use transport packaging

Having your own personalized packaging can be nice, it can add a personal touch for the consumer, but is it worth it for the customer to take a look and throw it in the trash for the environmental impact ? Instead of using this custom packaging, consider using the packaging provided by couriers such as UPS, they provide standard cardboard boxes that are involved in recycling programs, allowing associated businesses to be more durable.

9. Choose another shipping method

Overnight air transportation is convenient and can get the product to the customer faster, but there are other modes of transportation that are less harmful to the environment, such as ground transportation. You may not be able to choose ground transportation everywhere, but take a look and analyze your shipping history to see where you can use each shipping method to save not only emissions but also costs for your business.

10. Offset waste with green benefits

If you can’t change your packaging or explore different shipping methods, your business should consider offsetting emissions from non-durable packaging and air transportation costs. Many companies choose to plant a tree for every purchase they make, if this is feasible for your business this should be taken into account. Not only will this help offset your emissions, but it can have a positive impact on your brand awareness as customers can see that you are actively doing something about the climate crisis.

We hope these ten tips will help you build a sustainable supply chain, now is the time to act to save this planet for future generations.

Sustainability and the journey to net-zero must be at the forefront of the minds of every business leader.

Sustainability Live 2021

The world’s largest sustainable companies will come together to present their values ​​and commitments in the fight against climate change on February 23-24, 2022, the two-day event will take place at Tobacco Dock (London) and will also be broadcast live via a virtual platform.

Confirmed speakers include Sheri Hinish, Ruji Mahmud, Beth Morgan and many more.

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