Welcome to supply chain planning 2023: Lights, camera, action!
⏱️ 2-min read
The current climate change crisis has come to a point where it’s no longer a problem of the future, but instead a global issue on which we need to act today to protect ourselves and our communities. Companies are becoming increasingly aware that it’s not enough anymore to have vague sustainability goals without a clear action plan. In combat against the climate crisis, companies are slowly but steadily taking their sword and shield and gathering their troops.
There are a variety of factors that can make reducing emissions feel like an uphill battle. Companies often find themselves in a no man’s land, not knowing where to go or how to start. Another common problem is that many companies are reluctant to start fighting, afraid of what they will uncover and the challenges they will run into. On top of that, there is still the perception that addressing sustainability may interfere with other goals such as lowering costs or increasing business performance.
The good news is that taking action to reduce emissions usually isn’t complex or costly and can even save money and result in better business performance. A recent study has shown that the majority of a company’s CO2 emissions are embedded in its supply chain, and that around 40% of all emissions generated across the supply chain could be eliminated at little to no cost through for example implementing material and process efficiency measures. Supply chain leaders are therefore ideally suited to lead the charge for operational efficiency and supply chain decarbonization in order to combat climate change.
3-step strategy to conquer climate change in the supply chain
- Plant the seed: Create awareness within your organization about the impact of supply chain processes on climate change and the company’s overall sustainability goals. Provide transparency by measuring CO2 emissions and waste generated at each step of the production process.
- Develop strong roots: Focus on reducing waste and emissions coming from your own operations (the so-called ‘scope 1’ and ‘scope 2’ emissions) through process improvements and planning optimization.
- Create one ecosystem: Next to addressing ‘scope 1’ and ‘scope 2’ emissions, also include upstream and downstream value chain emissions (so-called ‘scope 3’ emissions) in your game plan. Collaborate with stakeholders across the entire end-to-end value chain to enable common sustainability ambitions. Climate change is the common enemy of every organization so collaboration always creates a win-win.
Let’s close ranks against climate change
Still no clear plan of attack? Depending on where you are in this 3-step journey to becoming more sustainable, we have several tools in our arsenal to help you launch the battle:
- Sustainable insights: Translate strategic sustainability goals into operational KPIs, make your largest waste and CO2 emission contributors visible, and identify the areas for improvement with easy and fast analysis through actionable online dashboards.
- Circular planning: Optimization of supply chain planning to integrate return flows in the existing linear supply chain, and creation of valorization models to facilitate value recovery of (by-) products created in the value chain.
- Supply chain network optimization: Evaluation and redesign of your supply chain.
- Sustainable supply chain digital twin: Creation and implementation of a digital twin with the goal to find the optimal balance between product availability and waste.
- Excess & obsolete inventory optimization: Design and implementation of E&O process, and optimal inventory target setting.
There’s no easy way out of the global climate change crisis. We’re what we sowed yesterday. Since tomorrow is still in the making, let’s plant good seeds in the supply chain of today. As the English primatologist Jane Goodall said:
“We must all join that fight before it is too late.”
Remember to keep an eye on this page where we will address further supply chain challenges you will be facing this year.