On the Supply Chain Sustainability Journey

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To ensure that they’re meeting goals for sustainability and carbon tracking, shippers need to have an “open ecosystem” that enables data transformation among all supply chain partners, says Mike Reed, chief product officer with Redwood Logistics.

As companies set forth on their supply chain sustainability journey, the challenges can be daunting. They are under increasing pressure from investors and customers to create greener supply chains, with the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions. “It’s something we all strive for,” says Reed. “But it’s not a simple topic. We set these lofty targets to be net-neutral in carbon, but it’s not always transparent to technology and supply chain leaders how we achieve that.”

The first step for any company on that journey is to understand what its carbon footprint is across the board. In the case of logistics, that almost always means accessing data from outside partners. But companies often lack visibility of such emissions, due to organizational and functional silos. And shippers’ systems of record don’t communicate well.

Only when a company understands its total freight mix and accompanying carbon emissions can it begin to formulate a plan for reducing them. At the very least, it can take steps to offset a portion of the total. “Start making bite-sized meaningful goals to get you to that target,” Reed says.

It’s essential to operate with an “open ecosystem,” which makes it possible to get data from outside partners into a company’s network in a “seamless, cleansed” way. Then the organization can begin reporting on its total carbon output.

To access the necessary data, companies might mandate the sharing of it in contracts with suppliers. But the dream of being able to acquire the necessary information is yet to be fully realized. “We’re getting there,” says Reed.

Source: supplychainbrain.com



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