Every year, June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day: the United Nation's principal day for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. The UN is looking for ways to #BeatPlasticPollution because if you can't reuse it, refuse it. While the day is commonly celebrated at the consumer level, it's also the perfect time for supply chain professionals to consider the importance of sustainability innovation and injecting fresh life into their company’s sustainability program.
Here are 3 sustainable ideas your company can embrace during World Environment Day for both short-term and long-term successes in the next year.
- Water Conservation
A recent survey indicates that water usage behavior still has a long way to go. Actions regarding lawn sprinkling, lengthy showers, and toilet flushing practices suggests that even with the best of intentions, the general public is unaware or unwilling to change their water habits. While water conservation requires a comprehensive range of responses including policies, strategies, and technologies to sustainably manage freshwater resources, here are some of the latest water conservation efforts in use today:
- Water conservation from above via satellite
- Water conservation from below via soil
- Water conservation via… beer!
So what's the role you play? Water conservation involves a comprehensive approach and a plethora of decisions large and small all along the perishable supply chain. They range from the expansion of drip irrigation, sensors and other new technologies at the farm, to more water-efficient cooling systems at the warehouse, to household practices more attuned to saving H2O. Every effort counts.
- Avoid Empty Miles
Empty miles not only fail to generate revenue, but they also incur transport operating costs and result in unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Given the importance of transportation in supply chain operations, a reduction of empty miles can go a long way towards helping companies achieve their financial and environmental goals.
- Eliminate Food and Agriculture Waste
With a potential estimated savings of around $72 billion for U.S. growers and retailers, food waste reduction is a tremendous opportunity that could likely translate into increased sales while reducing expenditures related to growing, shipping and retailing of unsaleable products. IFCO's RPCs help eliminate waste and increase your sales by reducing mechanical damage and providing improved temperature control to produce throughout their supply chain journey.
As you hit barriers to moving your sustainability programs forward, it may be useful to take a step back and revisit your sustainability aspirations to find new solutions and tell better stories. Through water conservation efforts, avoid empty travel miles, and eliminating food and agriculture waste, you may experience greater success in propelling your company's sustainability breakthroughs.
Consider downloading any of these supply chain improvement whitepapers to spark additional ideas and action items to improve your company’s sustainability program in 2018.