Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

Packaging Sustainability: One More Stop On the Road to the Green Supply Chain

Green is the new green. What I mean by this is that the concept of "green" is not new at all in the supply chain arena.

Environmentally friendly efforts have been a hot topic for quite some time. But while many companies are implementing sustainable efforts, the initiatives that are green (financially) as well as green (pro-environment) are leading the pack.

Businesses and consumers alike are encouraging environmentally friendly trends, but many times the costs of "going green" overcome the benefits, especially as companies work to regain their strength from the recession.

Yet we also see that companies like Wal-Mart are leading the sustainability efforts as they discover that sustainability is a powerful offensive strategy.

Along with Wal-Mart, more and more organizations are realizing the impact that sustainable packaging has on energy usage, material availability and costs. The increased consumer interest in environmental issues is also a major motivator for sustainable packaging initiatives.

According to a recent Packaging Sustainability Hot Topic Report published by the Supply Chain Consortium, sustainable packaging projects are resting on the shoulders of transportation efficiency, improved package handling, and the percentage of recycled content in the packaging material. See the chart by clicking below for the criteria used by participants from the Consortium's Packaging Sustainability survey to evaluate packaging. Click here

And, to improve their use of packaging sustainability initiatives, the Consortium's survey respondents say that that they need:

*A better collection and recovery process;

*Higher end-user awareness;

*A better-designed supply chain, and

*A life-cycle analysis process that identifies the cost effectiveness of sustainability initiatives.

So, with all of this green awareness and interest in greening supply chains, the future appears to be bright for the evolution of sustainable packaging, and I'm wondering how your company's supply chain strategy fits in with this trend. Are sustainability efforts important to you? What are your sustainability goals and what will it take to reach those goals? Leave a comment below if you would like to share your thoughts.

To view the Supply Chain Consortium's Packaging Sustainability Hot Topic Report, click here

Tompkins Associates

TAGS: Supply Chain
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