Infusing sustainability throughout your entire supply chain requires a thoughtful approach. The initiative must be purposeful future-focused and, most importantly, personal to the individuals involved. Responsible supply chains meet standards deliberately, always bearing in mind the unique needs of each stakeholder and sustainability’s fundamentally holistic nature.

Following are some key considerations:

  • Organization-wide engagement.  A successful sustainability initiative starts with ensuring everyone knows and understands the objectives, as well as how they apply to all employees and job functions. Information-sharing, training and education are proven strategies. Consider implementing a global e-learning platform that includes a module about sustainability. Some supply-chain organizations also implement a network of sustainability teams, which disseminate valuable lessons and concepts.
  • Delivering the message. Another important aspect of tackling the sustainability learning gap is communicating with employees in an authentic manner. Be sure your messages are reaching people of different profiles and backgrounds at all levels of the business. Diversity and inclusion increases empowerment, drives goals and helps achieve and maintain a sustainability culture. Furthermore, when talking about sustainability, the information you share should be well-defined, consistent and aligned with the core concepts of the vision.
  • Digital supply chain. Uniting digital capabilities and sustainable processes is critical to success. Numerous digital tools can advance sustainability initiatives: artificial intelligence to optimize forecasting and save resources; supply-chain control towers and other dashboards for supply-chain monitoring and transparency; the internet of things, sensors and analytics for real-time reporting and enhanced visibility; and 3D printing to reduce waste and miles on the road.
  • Outside the walls. Inspiring employees to support sustainability efforts is a great beginning — but it’s just a beginning. When you achieve something alone, you make an impact; when you involve your entire network, that impact is multiplied exponentially. The greatest advantages come from working with others.

Read the full article about solving sustainability problems by Abe Eshkenazi at GreenBiz.