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Top Ten Best Practices for "Greening the Supply Chain"

July 2011
  • 1. Use environmental analysis as a catalyst for innovation;
  • 2. Focus on a list of suppliers prioritized by environmental impact.
  • 3. Manage environmental impacts where they occur-ideally before they occur or get worse.
  • 4. Focus on the business, not social, value that green supply chain management creates.
  • 5. Align green supply chain goals with business goals.
  • 6. Evaluate the supply chain as a single life cycle system.
  • 7. Encourage engagement and collaboration among all key stakeholders and provide training where appropriate.
  • 8. Ask suppliers the right questions. The following questions are common:
    • • Details regarding their corporate environmental goals as well as the policies and procedures they use to ensure minimum impact on the environment
    • • Environmental performance awards, recognition, and certifications
    • • Participation in Carbon Disclosure Project, Global Reporting Initiative, or similar efforts
    • • Internal incentive and governance programs regarding environmental performance at the Board of Directors and C-suite level
    • • Greenhouse gas emissions programs
    • • Ability to identify opportunities for eco-related tax incentives or utility company rebates
  • 9. Listen to the ideas of suppliers for how to assess performance in different industries. Unilaterally announcing a new set of sustainability ratings to suppliers without taking industry differences into consideration may lead to missed opportunities for improvement and other negative ramifications.
  • 10. Utilize technology to support sustainable sourcing efforts.

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