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Sustainable supply chain discussion

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first Institute Sustainable Supply Chain Discussion Achieving competitive advantage in initiatives meant for environmental sustainability is certainly challenging and requires a long-term insight into business and its related aspects. For achieving such two-fold advantage, one best approach would be to minimize wastage in every aspect related to the business. For example, employing lean methodology will be of great use in achieving this two-fold objective. Lean methodology employs distinct tools and technology that aim at reducing or minimizing wasteful activities and processes as well as eliminates resources that are of no value add to the end product of customer. For example, the value stream mapping (VSM) allows identification of all processes performed during the production of specific goods or for performing specific activity. These mapping processes can be used to identify and differentiate between value-adding and non-value adding activities/processes. Secondly, all staff members should be trained on continuously identification of such non-value adding activities in order to maintain continuous improvement of these processes. 2. Considering the need for going green and the enormous issues that are challenging our environment, there can be numerous ways to contribute towards environmental sustainability. Firstly, the staff can be asked to plant more number of trees/bushes wherever possible. This can start from their homes; one day can be dedicated towards planting activities. These plants need to be cared for at least the first few weeks by these volunteers. Secondly, as an initiative at office, stationery used can be cut down. Stationery wastes could include pens, papers, wired equipment etc. All used/non-usable wired equipment must be sent for recycling. Also, storage of wired equipment must be reduced. Contracting with suppliers for supplying just-in-time can be of help during need. Office stationery and items like carpets etc can be reused by donating to the needy instead of storing when not in usable condition. Thirdly, vehicle parts like tires could be sent for recycling or reuse. Newspapers could be donated for charity work or making useful items like paper bags, covers etc. Another suggestion includes achieving reduction in electricity bills by providing individual targets to all departments. This will promote involvement by every individual. 3. Usage of electronic mode has certainly reduced usage of paper and electricity to a great extent. Other organizations have banned usage of plastic coffee cups. Specifically, in the United States, Wal-Mart has opened many ‘ eco-stores,’ which employ various environmental innovations that minimize energy consumption, use recycled materials and promote recycling behavior (Banerjee, 88). The British Petroleum’s contribution towards environment reflects in its vision-“ To do no damage to the environment.” Towards this initiative, BP has been innovating new products with low carbon emissions, and with respect to biodiversity, water usage, waste and air emissions (BP, para 3). IBM launched the Green Sigma service based on Lean methodology that aims to promote green environment through its work and relationship with suppliers and clients (Basu & Walton, 159). 4. Opting for production of energy based on non-conventional approaches by utilizing solar, wind, nuclear and biomass resources has been very beneficial. By acquiring a company that is focused on generating clean energy using solar energy has provided competitive edge to the company. The initiative taken by our company is one of the best in terms of competitive strategy and green initiative. This initiative of harnessing solar energy proves as an example for a lot of other companies; however, owing to the scale of operations, this initiative could result in increase in costs; yet, increase in costs provides premium benefit for the entire supply chain. This investment in environment has mutually benefited the company and its associates as well as environment. Works cited Banerjee, Subhabrata Bobby. Corporate social responsibility: the good, the bad and the ugly. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2007. BP. CSR Best Practice. The Responsible Business Experts. Retrieved from, http://www. article13. com/A13_ContentList. asp? strAction= GetPublication&PNID= 940 Basu, Ron and Peter Walton. Fit Sigma: A Lean Approach to Building Sustainable Quality Beyond Six Sigma. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, 2011.

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