Supply Chain Sustainability – 4 Tips to Make it Better
Sustainable practices in packaging and shipping is a wonderful goal and some companies are taking it to heart.
Company leaders are emphasizing sustainability as a new key to “long-term profitability and this has replaced monetary cost, value, and speed.“ The innovation emanating from sustainability research and practices is generating excellent bottom line savings and improved sales.
Implementing throughout the supply chain makes economic sense. Product and packaging executives are choosing to implement strategic supply chain management plans to put them on to the road to sustainability and better profits.
Adhesives manufacturer Henkel is being innovative on how they use packaging adhesives and in how they use energy:
“The key to being a successful and sustainable company is to incorporate sustainability concepts into all levels of the firm’s business goals.” “Our approach at Henkel is to set goals for achieving more with less, such as reducing energy, water and materials consumption, which enables us to reduce waste generation and lower our carbon footprint.
A Challenge For Smaller Firms
It’s not easy at all for smaller suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers to successfully put sustainability into action. However, there are substantial cost efficiency reasons now to encourage every packaging company to think green. Using less material, efficiency in space, and consolidation of shipping are the top ways to get sustainable.
Sustainability in the supply chain is far reaching. It begins with the packaging designer and product manager and ends with recycling packaging materials. As far as retailers are concerned, the supply chain is any entity involved in creating and delivering packaged products to its loading docks. So let’s look at that way too.
Walmart Has a Big Influence on Sustainable Practices
Walmart has its product sustainability guidelines. If you’re presenting your product to Walmart’s buyers, they will be looking at the sustainability, efficiency and reliability of your supply chain. From recyclable materials to shelf ready packaging, Walmart wants everything to be optimal.
Your brand will get a boost too when your product is associated with those recycling symbols. And retailers will appreciate how your products are packaged and delivered efficiently and with less waste for them to manage. When you rally around sustainability, it keeps your efforts focused and more productive overall.
So, how can you optimize your sustainable supply chain?
- Chain Wide Plan – Make correct forecasts of sales demand and materials to use. Plan to use recyclable materials such as corrugate paper and corrugate cardboard for primary packaging and display packaging.
- Choose a Complete Packaging Provider – Choose a packaging company that has a success record with recyclable materials and an efficient supply chain. How innovative is their POP packaging? Are they minimizing their own costs with such things as cold press blister packaging or LED warehouse lighting?
- Evaluate your Packaging – Is your packaging maximizing space, minimizing weight, and increasing recyclability? Is your printing using vegetable inks? Are the plastics you use really recyclable?
- Storage and Shipping Optimization – Having a full service fulfillment company to work with means you can consolidate everything from design to assembly to distribution logistics. This means less waste all round and better coordination of your distribution efforts (less fuel used by delivery trucks).
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