Incorporating sustainability into your supply chain

Jim Berge

By Jim Berge Business Development at King Solutions

sustainabilitySustainability is one of those topics that separate people into two groups. On the one hand, you have the people whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of the word. On the other, you have the people who view it as an issue that will define the future of the logistics industry.

Despite its polarizing effect on people, you can hardly attend a conference, read a blog or carry on a discussion without someone bringing up the need for more sustainable practices.

After all, carbon emissions do have an effect on the transportation industry.

Is it a Buzzword that Remains Undefined?
What does sustainability actually mean for businesses? Not even the word itself has a clear meaning. Sustainability, as per its definition, can mean one of two things:

1) To strengthen or support
2) To undergo something unpleasant

So which is it: are businesses strengthening their operations, or are they simply putting themselves through some form of misery?

At King Solutions, we believe that sustainability means surviving in the long run. There really is no “more sustainable” and “less sustainable” businesses. There are simply those who can sustain their operations and those who cannot.

Businesses who cannot sustain their operations cease to exist; it’s as simple as that.

Sustainability goes far beyond becoming environmentally friendly. While going green should be an initiative of any organization, survival is the main goal for businesses. Not only does a sustainable supply chain reduce a company’s carbon footprint, it also strengthens the organization and bolsters its chances of future success.

Follow the Pathway to a Green Future
A PWC sustainability survey found that 46 percent of CEOs agree that resource scarcity and climate change will impact their businesses. Thankfully, more green trends and technologies are emerging within the shipping industry, making available more options for companies to implement sustainability initiatives.

So, what are the steps to achieving sustainability in the supply chain?

Visibility
We have written before about the importance of supply chain visibility. It is something that is quite often overlooked, yet its implications reach far beyond the tracking of products.

Before implementing any new initiative into the supply chain, a business must know how its current supply chain functions. Efficiency is achieved through greater understanding of how operations can be simplified without sacrificing quality. By obtaining new metrics and data on the function of their supply chains, businesses can identify how and where sustainability measures can be implemented in order to reduce the consumption of resources.

Consolidation
Empty space is always wasted space, and sending out half empty trailers on trucks that get six miles to the gallon is a drain on resources. Consolidating LTL shipments can help save money and decreases shipping times.

It is better for the sustainability of the environment and a company’s bottom line.

Innovation
It’s a simple stream of logic: technology exists to make things easier. When things are easier, they require less work. When less work is done, less energy is used. When less energy is used, the process remains sustainable.

Investing in new technology can completely change the supply chain for the better. Those who fail to innovate are always left behind in the long run.

Choose the Right Partner
The easiest way to achieve sustainability is to choose a partner who shares those same values. At King Solutions, we understand the importance of sustainability to the environment and to the survival of our partners.

logistics services