Sustainable Supply Chain: Emerging Best Practices

Blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company
Mar 11, 2011 1:10 PM ET

Taiga Company blog by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Compa…

The recent drive to incorporate ‘Sustainability’ into Supply Chain Management has inspired companies to reexamine their internal and external processes.  Progressive organizations, like Wal-Mart and IBM, are evaluating their procurement, sourcing and supplier management from a new perspective to create additional value.  But as we have discussed, not everyone sees the world from the same perspective as a Wal-Mart or IBM. 

Regardless, new trends are emerging.  Coupling supply chain best practices with business sustainability strategies, many more organizations are opening the door to improved consistency and reliability of supply.   The question is, "how?"   The basic fundamentals of greening supply chains are "based on value creation through the sharing of intelligence and know-how about environmental and emerging regulatory issues and emerging technologies."   Additionally,  suppliers and customers can collaboratively strengthen each other’s performance, share cost of ownership and social license to operate and create “reciprocal value”.   It begins with a "systems thinking" approach.  The post, A Green Supply Chain Takes a Systems Thinking Approach–And Patience, suggests by viewing the supply chain in a systematic or holistic manner, "organizations can apply that “big-picture thinking” needed to be truly innovative. Doing so can create leverage points that companies never realized they had before with their suppliers".    Building on that, the post, Taming the Tiger: GE Manages China Supply Chain Sustainability Issues with Education & Collaboration articulates the value of education and collaboration in the supply chain citing GE and Apple's challenges and approach to managing multi-tiered supply chains.  At a high level, benefits include: click here to read more about sustainable supply chains.    

Home to one third of the earth's trees, the Taiga is the largest land-based biosphere and encircles the globe. Its immense oxygen production literally changes the atmosphere and refreshes the planet. It is this continuous renewal that has shaped Taiga Company's vision to drive similar change in the business world. Taiga Company seeks to be the "oxygen for your business".