Are ‘green initiatives a competitive weapon for manufacturers?

ARC researcher discusses how sustainabile supply chains can be a game-changer for manufacturers.
By Plant Engineering Staff May 12, 2008

Should Companies Use “Green” Initiatives as a Competitive Weapon?

Should companies use ‘green’ initiatives as a competitive weapon?
By Adrian Gonzalez, ARC Advisory Group

Back in February, I presented at the Green Supply Chain Forum organized by The Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management at Florida International University (FIU). In preparation for that conference, ARC and FIU developed a web survey to determine the current state of “Green” Supply Chain Management. The survey focused on answering the following questions: Are we still in the ‘early adopter’ phase or is this trend more widespread? What types of “green” initiatives are companies prioritizing? What factors are driving companies to become more “green”? Who manages these initiatives and how is success measured?

The survey results confirmed many of our hypotheses, but there were a few surprises. For example, we asked the respondents which external parties they are currently collaborating with on “green” initiatives, or plan to work with in the future. Not surprising, companies are working primarily with suppliers and customers on “green” initiatives today; they’re also working with transportation companies and Logistics Service Providers. What is surprising, however, is that the vast majority of the people who answered this question have “no plans to engage with [competitors] on these issues.” Why not? Will this attitude limit how much progress companies can make, and how quickly, in reducing the environmental impact of their supply chains?

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this blog posting and to find out how to download a free copy of “The State of Green Supply Chain Management.”