Managing a Green & Sustainable Supply Chain

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  • 0:00 What Is a Green Supply Chain?
  • 0:53 Why Sustainability Matters
  • 2:03 Green Supply Chains…
  • 2:53 Green Supply Chains…
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

More and more companies are trying to move towards a green and sustainable supply chain. But what does that mean? In this lesson, we find out what that means and how companies are beginning to implement it.

What Is A Green Supply Chain?

More and more in the news, we are hearing about the need for greener technologies. Even while politicians debate the need for such actions, businesses have been quick to try to adapt to new times. For them, going green is not a choice, but instead, an imperative that could have both economic and environmental benefits.

However, for a company to truly go green, it requires much more than simply using recycled paper and energy efficient light bulbs. Instead, many companies find that by changing their supply chains, they are able to exude a much greener image. Along the way, some companies find that they are able to create a product that even appeals to more potential clients.

In this lesson, we are going to learn about how to implement a green supply chain. First, we'll focus on why this matters, before moving on to differences in what green supply chains look like for service firms as compared to green supply chains for manufacturers.

Why Sustainability Matters

But wait. Why should businesses even care about having a green supply chain? What do we even mean by that? Let's back up a bit. The most important idea behind a green supply chain is to implement a supply chain that is sustainable for future generations, especially from an environmental perspective. Now, let's look at this through two different lenses, so we can see why this makes sense for businesses of all types.

First, let's assume that you're on board with the scientific theory that humans can create climate change. In that case, you'd want for your business to do well in the long run, correct? Firms that have a sustainable and green supply chain are preparing for exactly such a long run.

Now, let's say that you don't believe in climate change. So, why should you care about having a sustainable supply chain? Simple, because a lot of your customers do. Even if you reject climate change science, the fact that is this that sustainability is a very popular marketing technique for companies. Consumers are even boycotting companies that don't try to achieve sustainability. That, coupled with the fact that some methods may help save money, make it too important to ignore. So, now that we see why sustainable supply chains are important for all businesses, let's look at how to set them up.

Green Supply Chains for Services

First, let's start with service-based companies, ranging from accounting firms to news organizations to consulting companies. So, what can they do to help build a green supply chain? After all, they're producing ideas, not stuff.

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