When you purchase a product, chances are you never question how that item made its way to the shelf. Supply chains just aren’t something that consumers generally consider.
For most, the shopping experience begins in a store (digital or brick and mortar) and concludes when the product is eventually discarded. Simple. But the process that occurs before the user’s initial engagement is a complicated one full of opportunities to bolster a company’s environmental commitments. Thus, more businesses are beginning to take a deeper look at the lifecycle of their products and fully examine their supply chain.
The goal of creating a sustainable supply chain is simple: reduce a product’s environmental footprint while also reducing costs. Although many believe these two principles to be contrary, businesses across the board are proving they go hand-in-hand.
This week on the site we featured in.gredients, a package-free grocery store in Austin, Texas that’s aiming to make each part of their supply chain more sustainable. From choosing responsible, local vendors to offering ways for customers to donate to charity with each purchase, in.gredients is on a mission to create the first zero-waste grocery store in the United States—a mighty feat for any small business.
Moreover, this week in the Green Room we asked our readers to weigh in on how they thought retail businesses could reduce their environmental footprint. Focusing on renewable energy, responsible packaging, and ethical sourcing were just a few of the suggestions we received—proof that our readers believe every part of the equation matters.
But it isn’t just consumers and businesses that are taking an interest in this important subject. The EPA recently published “The Lean and Green Supply Chain: A Practical Guide to Help Companies Reduce Costs and Improve Environmental Performance.” In the guide, the EPA breaks down the process for creating a sustainable supply chain and shares how doing so can transform an organization.
Creating a more environmentally friendly society is about collaboration: the combined actions of individuals, businesses, and governments. The supply chain represents that shared commitment and offers each participant the opportunity to play his or her part.
Contributing to a more sustainable planet is not just an opportunity, it’s a responsibility that we all should take seriously.
Michael Parrish DuDell