We certainly hear a lot about the importance of reducing the amount of carbon our species is releasing into the atmosphere. But we don’t hear much about what this really means to our profession: in other words, how important is a ‘green’ Supply-Chain in North America?
To answer this question we recently sent out a 14-question survey to hundreds of Supply-Chain professionals. The results are in and you may find them interesting.
Three Key Findings.
1. Senior management backs ‘Greening’ the Supply Chain
Greening the supply-chain usually involves people at the top. Over half of respondents said their senior management viewed Greening the Supply-Chain as strategically important and understood its potential to create value for the organization.Our senior management views greening the supply-chain as strategically important and understands its potential to create…
To back this up, over half of respondents said there was at least one person in their organization designated as responsible for green initiatives.My company has designated at least one person to be responsible for green initiatives
2. It’s happening in Purchasing
Many European countries have taken steps to reduce carbon emissions and bolster sustainability. They have set firm targets backed up by legislation; but in North America, we have very few such government imposed regulations.
And so we were surprised to learn that over half (58%) of the purchasers who answered the survey said they were already involved in ‘greening’ their organization’s supply-chain.I am already personally involved with greening my company’s supply chain
And moreover, this number is expected to reach about 71% in the future.In future, I believe I will be personally involved with greening my company’s supply chain
3. Green Suppliers are Preferred, But Measurement Systems are Lacking
A greener supply chain is definitely preferred but tools are lacking. Over 80% Supply-Chain professionals responding said they would favor suppliers with green business practices.All things being equal, I would favor suppliers that have Green business practices
However, only about 25% have any sort of carbon footprint evaluation process in place. Therefore, it’s hard for many Purchasers to know if they are being ‘green washed’ by suppliers whose claims are exaggerated.Our product or supplier evaluation process includes Carbon Footprinting
What Does All This Mean for Our Profession?
Two overarching conclusions jump out from this survey:
- If you are not already involved in greening your supply chains, you will likely become involved in the foreseeable future. Clearly, new tools and knowledge will be needed, especially to counter ‘green washing’.
- Alongside traditional measures (price, service and quality) green practices, like carbon footprints, will figure more and more in supplier selection.
If you would like to learn about how to go about measuring your supply-chain carbon footprint, click the links below: http://www.propurchaser.com/supplychain_carbon.html
To take part in the survey: http://virescent.propurchaser.com/