How to Build a Green Supply Chain

Being environmentally friendly can be a top priority for your business, but until you know how to build a green supply chain, you oftentimes can't feasibly reach that goal. Find out how you can work with other businesses to reduce waste and improve the planet by putting best practices into effect that are good not only for your company but can be a popular business decision as well.


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    Realize that this will have to be a long-term change and not a passing fad. Creating and implementing a green supply chain involves long-term perspective as well as a cultural change in your organization in order to maintain it.
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    Determine how a green supply chain can help improve your bottom line. Going green should not put you in the red. Instead, choices made should impact your business positively if you plan to implement them.
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    Look at what changes can be made to vehicles for your business if you haul any of your own materials.
    • Invest in vehicles that offer you good fuel economy as well as reduced emissions.
    • Consider fuel-efficient tires, and think about implementing driver training to help reduce idling and other emission-causing practices.
    • Check out information from the Environmental Protection Agency's Smartway program at to help you further work on greening up your businesses transportation methods.
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    Review the current practices of your suppliers. What are they doing to help promote a green supply chain, and are you willing to make the move from them if they do not fulfill your environmental impact expectations?
    • Are the companies that you work with taking active steps to reduce their electricity use by installing skylights or using efficient light bulbs?
    • Do the companies that you receive supplies from reduce, reuse and recycle their materials?
    • Review what sort of carbon impact your suppliers make.
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    Take a step and look at what your company is doing. Is it realistic to hold your suppliers to an elevated standard of green efficiency if you, as a company, do not hold yourself to the same standard?
    • Review how your company can reduce, reuse and recycle.
    • Create an environment within your company that promotes green initiatives and gets everyone on board with the idea of green from within and throughout.
    • Address both internally and with your suppliers if there is a possibility to reduce the amount of packaging needed for your items. Can you reduce costs by reducing packaging? Can you reduce your waste by reducing your packaging?
    • Solicit employees for suggestions and reward ideas that can help your company implement a greener supply chain. Find out more how companies like Toyota successfully implement a suggestion program and how it rewards employees for ideas used.


  • Keep up-to-date on green supply chain research, news and tips.

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Categories: Work World