The billion Dollar business opportunity: building the environmental supply chain

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The environmental supply chain has been revealed as an untapped opportunity to capture value and drive topline revenue, according to a new whitepaper. Where the supply chain was formerly the weakest link from a sustainability perspective, the new, closed loop environmental supply chain is a business imperative that can reduce carbon, deliver significant cost savings and improve favorability with consumers.

"Closing The Loop: Building the Environmental Supply Chain" the new whitepaper by Lisa Harrington, President of the lharrington group LLC, has been commissioned by DHL. It makes the case for businesses to think differently about their supply chains and the 'costs' attached to going green. The paper argues that best-practice businesses - such as P&G which recently reported nearly $1billion in cost savings from its environmental supply chain - no longer perceive sustainability as a cost, but recognize it as an opportunity to create value.

Lisa Harrington, President, lharrington group LLC, said, "A great shift in attitudes is currently underway across industries. Gone are the old and dated misconceptions that 'green' means higher costs. Where the environmental supply chain model is executed correctly, companies are capitalizing on increased revenue and social kudos from customers, while also ensuring their business is operating in line with necessary compliance measures.

"The recipe for success is to get the four principles right. These are reduce, reuse, recycle and recapture. Reduction is all about eliminating waste by injecting efficiency, reusing involves product refurbishment, while recycling is ensuring that your waste becomes opportunity. Recapturing is the process of breaking down end-of-life products to harvest residual value such as precious metals."

Faced by driving market trends such as escalating consumer pressure, the need to improve efficiency and reduce cost, the compliance squeeze enforced by legislators, and rising expectations of corporate responsibility; companies are reevaluating their approach to environmental supply chain management. Leading companies are creating value by modifying their supply chains to manage their key inputs and outputs such as energy, carbon, water, materials and waste in a way that can reduce the environmental footprint of a business and generate new sources of revenue from residual value.

The whitepaper identifies solutions that will enable companies to realize the four principles of the environmental supply chain. A Lead Environmental Partner (LEP) fulfills a control tower role by monitoring the forward and reverse flows of the supply chain to identify opportunities that make environmental and economic sense. The next solution is the closed loop supply chain management approach which integrates waste recycling, value recovery and environmental protection compliance through an LEP that manages collection, sortation and recycling streams. Finally, the LEP provides visibility through its detailed carbon reporting that allows progress tracking better management.

Chris Jackson, Vice President, Envirosolutions, DHL Supply Chain said, "The environmental supply chain has fast become an opportunity and necessity for companies. Companies demonstrating best practice are driving down costs and saving millions while also ensuring their business is up to the standard of modern compliance measures which can potentially incur damages if not.

"LEPs help make the cost savings even greater with their ability to act as a single vendor for a company's waste management, ensuring the best recyclable rates are achieved and the process is simplified as much as possible. For example, the integrated partner approach is now at the forefront of waste management with companies receiving their shipments and having their recyclable waste collected by the same vehicle. Having a partner that can fulfill this role saves companies hundreds of thousands in land fill tax savings and reduces carbon emissions significantly as well."

The white paper can be downloaded in full at www.dhl.com/Enviro-Resilience

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