Guide

Supply chain efficiency

Benefits of a supply chain that reduces environmental impacts

There are significant business benefits in having a supply chain that minimises environmental impacts. As the importance of environmental issues grows, these benefits are increasing.

You can achieve significant cost reductions through reduced waste, improved operational efficiency and better use of raw materials, technology and energy. By working with your customers and your suppliers you can cut costs for all parties and reduce the impact of your activities on the environment.

Working in partnership with your suppliers will increasingly enable you to participate in a 'virtuous circle' - in which you can both support and reinforce each other in improving practices. Increasingly, businesses, the public sector and consumers are using environmental performance as one of their criteria when they make buying decisions. You may be asked, or find it necessary, to demonstrate improved environmental management as part of the sales process.

You may also find it easier to comply with health, safety and environmental legislation. For example, considering the design of a product or its packaging can help you to comply with packaging legislation and make it easier to be handled and delivered. Designing or redesigning products and packaging can also help you minimise waste in the first place.

Reputation is a key asset in business. Working together with other organisations in your supply chain can reduce the risk of your business being associated with another organisation that has a poor environmental record.