Posted: April 19th, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: CSR in purchasing, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain | Tags: CSR, green purchasing, sustainability | No Comments »
The benefits of avoiding extraction and primary processing are usually significant, even when collection, transport and reprocessing of recycled material is taken into account.
An increasing range of recycled products are coming onto the market, such as glass, steel, aluminium, plastics and paper. Usually calculating the carbon benefit is reasonably straightforward. As the final products must perform to similar standards (whether from virgin or recycled materials) in order to compete in the market place, the carbon footprint during their ‘use phase’ will also be very similar.
Read the rest of The Carbon Benefits of Recycled Materials » » »
Posted: April 16th, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Agricultural, Best practices, Commodities, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: drought, economic sustainability, sustainability, sustainable practice | No Comments »
Weekly drought figures released by the US Drought Monitor show the situation continues to be a problem with approximately 50% of continental US now suffering from a moderate drought or worse.
Despite recent precipitation bringing welcome relief and downgrading of the drought status in some parts of the country, the long term picture shows challenges remain.
Changing weather patterns and increasing likelihood of extreme weather events are pushing sustainable supply chain management up the agenda for many companies. The US drought is just one of many examples of how changing weather patterns can create clear and present supply chain risks.
Read the rest of Sustainable supply-chain at risk: the US drought example » » »
Posted: March 11th, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: CSR, supplier, supplier negotiation, supply chain, sustainability, sustainable practice, sustainable sourcing | No Comments »
We have picked up a few tips recently from participating in a Conference Board of Canada webinar where sustainability thought leader and governance specialist, Coro Strandberg discussed the drivers and trends of CSR governance and shared emerging best practices in the Canadian context.
We have also been reviewing the Carbon Disclosure Project and other reports to highlight some of the key points that are useful to the supply chain profession.
Read the rest of Sustainability Trends » » »
Posted: February 26th, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: sustainability, sustainable practice, sustainable sourcing | No Comments »
The 2012-13 annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Supply Chain report has been recently published. There is a glut of useful information within the 22 pages, and here are some of the highlights.
Firstly, the report concludes that climate change is creating very real supply chain risks, with 70% of respondents identifying at least one serious risk to their business due to the impacts of climate change. This makes sober reading where ever you are in the value chain of a product and emphasizes the need for a risk based approach to sustainable supply chains.
Read the rest of Carbon Disclosure Project Supply Chain Report » » »
Posted: February 3rd, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: CSR in purchasing, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: CSR, green purchasing, sustainability | No Comments »
To actually make your supply-chain more green, the first step is to understand what the main environmental impacts are and where they occur in the supply chain or product lifecycle.
I intend to write about what purchasing professionals can actually do to ‘green’ supply-chains and lower their organization’s carbon footprint. My goal is to stimulate ideas and debate; so please feel free to comment or add your ideas.
Increased public awareness, scrutiny from environmental groups, regulatory pressure and concerns about climate change has led companies in a race to establish their eco-credentials; through removing harmful but regulated substances like phthalates (often found in PVC) from products, changing palm oil suppliers to save rainforests, and setting huge targets to remove carbon emissions from supply chains. For many companies, their products’ biggest impacts, and therefore risks and opportunities, are from the supply chain in the production, extraction, cultivation, and transport of raw materials.
Read the rest of Green Procurement: knowledge is power » » »
Posted: January 29th, 2013 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Agricultural, Commodities, CSR in purchasing, Energy, Energy, Food, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: carbon emission, climate policy, sustainability | No Comments »
I came across this interesting discussion of the Great Climate Disconnect courtesy of General Electric.
GE has asked the members of its Citizenship Advisory Panel to reflect on trends and key challenges for sustainable development in 2013. This first post by Nick Robins tackles the gap between climate change risk and ambition.
The year ahead will be dominated by growing tension between ever-stronger evidence of climate change and the inadequacy of the global policy response. Drought in the USA in 2012 highlighted the vulnerability of commodity prices to intensified weather risk, and 2013 is set to be another year of above-average global temperatures. But global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, putting the world on track for overshooting the 2ºC “safe” target and ending up in a 4ºC world.
Read the rest of How climate change impacts commodity prices » » »
Posted: October 29th, 2012 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Agricultural, Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, Negotiating with Suppliers, Uncategorized, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: carbon footprint, CSR, energy, Greening the Supply Chain, sustainability, water, water emission, water footprint | No Comments »
No matter the place — California’s Central Valley, southern Nevada, the Colorado River, the Southern Plains — water is harder to find across much of the West. And, with energy demand and populations growing, once-unfathomable choices about water pricing and the future of agriculture are unavoidable.
(Peyton Fleming, Squeezing Blood From the Desert: The West Grapples With Less Water, writing for Think Progress.org)
Water has been on the sustainability agenda for many years, but this article brings in to stark focus the reality of declining availability of fresh water in North America.
It raises the question, could water shortages prove a risk to your businesses, either in their operations or supply chain? Reducing water consumption is not just an environmental issue, it is a real and present business issue.
Read the rest of The importance of managing water in your supply chain » » »
Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: Pascal Blanc | Filed under: Best practices, Greening the Supply Chain | Tags: green initiative, retail, sustainability, sustainable practice, sustainable sourcing, virescent | 2 Comments »
We thought our readers might find this of interest. It’s short on details, but suggests a growing trend towards more sustainable retailing and sustainable supply chains amongst companies of varying sizes.
President, Virescent Consultants
In the last few years, many national companies have committed to more sustainable practices. Many retailers are building solar-powered stores, while delivery companies like UPS and Fed-Ex include more hybrid vehicles in their fleets.
Many green initiatives happen behind the scenes, but more retailers are extending their sustainable practices to the products they sell. In 2012, several companies made groundbreaking decisions, moving towards more environmentally conscious retailing.
Read the rest of Four Retailers making substantial Sustainability announcements in 2012 » » »
Posted: April 15th, 2011 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: CSR, green purchasing, sustainability | No Comments »
Congratulations to the event organizers and CIPS for putting together an excellent program for the inaugural sustainable purchasing summit in London. Some very interesting topics and speakers.
One of the stand-out messages from the day is that sustainable purchasing is delivering substantial and measureable benefits for businesses embracing the concept. The time and money invested to make CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) part of the supply-chain is paying dividends and delivering serious ROI. Reported benefits come from areas such as:
• Financial savings; cutting costs through lean production and avoided risks
• Stakeholder goodwill; enhanced collaboration and innovation
• Corporate values; brand image, recruitment and retention of staff
• Marketing; protecting and increasing sales
• Improved risk management; compliance and regulation
However, embedding CSR in a supply chain remains a significant challenge for a host of reasons, not least because you can be exposed to new risks. Fortunately, there is a growing body of expertise, tools and good practice for purchasers to draw on. Whatever the size and type of business you work for, the message is clear: Sustainable Purchasing is growing in importance, it pays dividends, and is here to stay.
To learn more about supply-chain CSR, you are welcome to contact Tom.Bowers@propurchaser.com
Posted: April 14th, 2011 | Author: Tom Bowers | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: CSR, green purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, lean production, sustainability | No Comments »
At the recent Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Summit in London last week, the point was made that Lean production is really the first step toward Green production.
If your business is manufacturing, or even if it’s not, I’ll wager that you have heard of the Lean production principles. The concept is simple: Increase the bottom line by reducing waste of all kinds across all areas of the business. Optimize your processes and work smarter so that resources are only expended to provide value to your customers. Lean is the current king of manufacturing philosophies and is likely to remain that way for a long time to come.
At the Sustainable Purchasing and Supply Summit, in London last week, the point was made that Lean production is really the first step toward Green production. Reducing raw materials use, reducing the size (and thus the energy expenditure) of inventories, and minimizing waste be it in energy/resource use or reworking of faulty goods.
These are Lean principles – these are Green principles – these are ‘good-for-the-bottom-line’ principles
One of the challenges for purchasers in a Lean and Green business environment is to maintain the principles throughout the Supply chain. Procuring recycled or refurbished goods where possible, working with suppliers to ensure energy use (and price) improvements and taking a longer term view on cost-benefit analysis can all help steer your business down a truly sustainable and profitable path.
To learn more about sustainable supply-chain best practices, you are welcome to contact Dr AA Wade, email@example.com