Eco-Friendly Companies and The Three Tiers of Sustainability

 

The Eco-Friendly products demand.

 

Each year, the customers are becoming more and more demanding with the companies due to the growing offer, gone are the days when the most (even the only) important thing for an enterprise was the quality of their products. At present, with the globalization and the technology evolving everything the companies need much more to attract clients against their competitors.

Nowadays the environmental image of a companies is one of the most important things for the customers, and the foot print of the organizations are directly related with their logistics and their supply chain.

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Supply chains are critical links that connect an organization’s inputs to its outputs. The traditional challenges for the companies have included lowering costs, ensuring just-in-time delivery, and shrinking transportation times to allow better reaction to business challenges. But now, with all the eco-friendly movement, that is not enough to fulfill the demands of the clients, they want all of that and also taking care of the environment.

The Three Tiers of Sustainability and Supply Chains

 

In 2008, The Future Laboratory produced a ranking system for the different levels of sustainability being achieved by organisations, There are three tiers of sustainability  for better and more eco-friendly practices. As a company grows in sustainability, it moves up through the tiers and sustainability becomes more integrated.

3 tiers of sustainability

Getting the basics right: This first step to become more sustainable is based on enact sustainable policies that employees probably already use at home, in the office. Those simple measures starts with Turning lights and computers off when not in use, recycling paper, using more eco-friendly methods of travel (bikes, carpooling, and public transport) to reduce carbon footprints. Some companies also employ self-service technologies such as centralised procurement and teleconferencing. This first step is a must in order to achieve the eco-friendly goals, but is not enough.

Learning to think sustainably: This second tier is based in the expansion of the practical behaviours of the employees to the business infrastructure. In this step the companies assess their impact  across a local range of operations, and introduce some changes in their supply chain management like: supplier management, product design, manufacturing rationalization, and distribution optimization.

The science of sustainability: At this last tier the companies go beyond the observable into a full-scale audit of how things are run and how they can be run, creating a balance between environmental , social, ethical and economic factors through a new way to proceed and a new supply chain strategy. This green improvement is a long-term plan which involve auditing and benchmarks to provide a framework for governing sustainable supply chain operations. All of this considering agility, flexibility and cost in the supply chain network.

Moreover, at this level the companies must understand the current climate as well as pushing emerging regulations and standards at both an industry and governmental level.

All this road could become a difficult task for an enterprise, but it is necessary to become a green company, which means not only the acceptance and admiration of customers and competitors but also better conditions according to the government “green” laws.

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Bibliography:

http://www.mbda.gov/blogger/established-businesses-and-growth/customers-demand-green

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_chain_sustainability

http://www.thegreenmarketoracle.com/2011/10/three-tiers-of-sustainability-and.html

http://www.supplymanagement.com/blog/2013/07/the-three-tiers-of-sustainability

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