CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 24, 2018
Forward Thinking

"Untapped" opportunities for greener supply chains

Three areas—collaboration, stock availability, and waste elimination—offer the best opportunities for improving sustainable supply chains.

Supply chain managers should investigate three "untapped" opportunities for improving supply chain sustainability, said Christoph Overlack, vice president of supply chains, Europe for Nestlè in his keynote address to the CSCMP Europe 2010 Conference.

The first opportunity involves wider collaboration between trading partners on information and product flows. Such collaboration would reduce packaging and curb emissions of carbon dioxide, he said.

A second opportunity lies in improvements in on-the-shelf availability of product. Consumers increasingly want to find store shelves well-stocked, as noted in recent research conducted by IGD, the U.K.-based research firm, which found product availability was the number one concern for consumers.

The third area of opportunity involves the elimination of waste throughout the supply chain. Areas for waste reduction include repetitive handling and moving, inefficient administration and warehouse layouts, damage and theft, suboptimal use of the workforce, huge product variability, poorly utilized equipment, and poor data.

In regard to information, Overlack noted that less than 25 percent of data held by retailers matches correctly with product data from suppliers. Improved data synchronization would allow companies to better manage the flow of critical information, he said.

Overlack also said that governments around the world would have to play a larger role in fostering collaboration among retailers and manufacturers to support adoption of sustainability practices.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.

Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter : "Untapped" opportunities for greener supply chains"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.