Does your 3PL partner support you in building a green supply chain? Reducing negative impact on the environment through supply chain activities is a top priority among most businesses today. Part of a corporate social responsibility platform, green supply chain management strikes a balance between environmental impact, business efficiency, and the values of society.
Benefits of a green supply chain
“Investing in green initiatives can reduce supply chain costs,” reports Inbound Logistics. For example, reducing the number of empty miles can shrink carbon footprint and capture transportation cost savings. But “green can be challenging,” they add.
And demonstrating green supply chain practices is key to earning and retaining customer loyalty. Nielsen reports that 81 percent of consumers feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. Increasingly, companies brand and market their green initiatives.
7 green supply chain practices
FIDELITONE supports its clients with forward-thinking sustainable practices in supply chain management. These include:
A focus on packaging is crucial to a successful green initiative, and it can reduce costs as well. According to Abhijeet Shah, who writes about How to Improve Supply Chain Performance by Improving Packaging, a successful approach removes any unnecessary materials and unnecessary steps in the process.
For example, driven by supply chain expertise and supported by technology, choosing the right size box to pack an order optimizes space utilization on outbound trucks, reduces the number of trucks required, and helps minimize the carbon footprint. Learn more about space optimization and other packaging factors in the FIDELITONE blog.
Recycled packaging supplies
Using post-consumer recycled materials helps reduce landfill waste. Selecting void-fill materials that are lightweight is also important. Using the minimal amount of packaging materials required is a green best practice as well, according to Industrial Packaging. Just over half of today’s companies are also trying to use packaging materials that can be recycled, continuing the chain of reuse and supporting a circular economy, according to Packaging Digest.
Supply chain management experts at FIDELITONE are always researching, testing, and recommending new, innovative ways to reduce material consumption. Alternative packaging materials and methods can reduce consumption of resources, minimize freight weight, and cut emissions. An example is using plastic pallets instead of wood.
Paper to digital
Converting paper-based documents, processes, and materials from hard copy to digital format reduces consumption of paper and environmental impact. A simple example is emailing (rather than printing) a customer’s packing slip. In addition, digital capture of information allows for stronger communications in real time and enables analysis of performance metrics that can help you earn customer loyalty.
Do your supply chain processes prioritize recycling everything that can be recycled? Cardboard, paper, Styrofoam, plastic, wood, metal, and even mattresses are candidates for recycling.
For paper products alone, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries finds that recycling generates significant environmental benefits and energy savings. It also helps the balance of trade, as recovered paper products from the U.S. are sold to paper mills worldwide. FIDELITONE facilities have aggressive recycling programs in place with weekly pickups of recyclable materials.
Reduced vehicle emissions
Fewer trucks and fewer miles are touchstones for reducing energy consumption and the carbon footprint in your supply chain. FIDELITONE employs technology and ongoing analysis to reduce vehicle emissions. From end to end, supply chain network optimization and route optimization support sustainability initiatives.
These practices typically reduce costs and improve profit margins. At the same time, optimization models can provide greater flexibility and responsiveness to customers’ dynamic requirements.
Looking for help in optimizing your fulfillment system? Check out the blog post, How to Create a National Order Fulfillment Network.
FIDELITONE pioneered the individual drop ship program, making FIDELITONE the first distribution company to bypass one or more mid-points and ship directly to the end user. Drop ship methodology uses technology and processes to reduce the number of touches on a product and deliver to the end customer more quickly. It reduces consumption of materials, vehicles emissions, and costs.
Processes, space utilization, and technology all impact your operational efficiency and environmental impact. Read more in the blog post, Warehouse Efficiency and Your Bottom Line.
Choosing a sustainability-minded partner
Many companies find it difficult to devote the resources required to devising and implementing green supply chain practices. Why not turn to an expert partner who offers you the bench strength derived from designing green solutions and shipping more than 5.6 million orders annually? FIDELITONE regards environmental responsibility as a business imperative and commits to a full complement of sustainable practices.
Today, sustainability practices can be a differentiator in your marketplace—and a lynchpin in earning customer loyalty. Choosing a supply chain management firm with shared values can improve your business performance, foster innovation, and support your continued growth. How can we help you implement a green supply chain? Call us at 866.787.6356 or contact us online.