Supply Chain Professional — Protector of Mother Earth
I grew up in a time when people didn’t think that often about one’s impact on nature. When the first Earth Day took place in the US in 1970, it was a very small event compared with the world-wide phenomenon it has become today.
A common definition of being Green is “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources,” and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. I care about the environment and do what I can to minimize my impact because living in Beautiful Colorado I benefit from being surrounded by some of Mother Earths finest scenery.
Younger generations who have grown up with the threat of climate change, holes in the ozone layer, greenhouse gases, Polar ice cap melting, polluted water systems and oceans and dying coral reefs, to name a few, have a much sharper focus on what it means to be eco-friendly. Our kids and grandkids regularly discuss the topic of sustainability and being eco-friendly in K-12 education. The Millennial generation, which makes up an ever-growing percentage of the workforce, has a strong desire to not only make a valuable contribution at work but also to society including in the area of protecting the Earth. If you type, “Protecting the Earth” into Google you will get about 83,400,000 results in less than a second. When you think about the implications of a growing awareness of sustainability it quickly becomes evident that as supply chain professionals, we can have a huge impact on protecting Mother Earth. For more than a decade, supply chain teams have worked diligently to reduce the impact of operations.
What is a “Green Supply Chain”?
Green supply chain management can be defined as integrating environmental thinking into supply-chain management, including product design, material sourcing and selection, manufacturing processes, delivery of the final product as well as a product’s end-of-life management. There are many opportunities for supply chain professionals to influence how “Green” your supply chain operates. In fact, almost every supply chain decision made in an effort to reduce costs has a beneficial side effect of also greening the supply chain. For example: