Eco-Friendly Supply Chain Scaling

5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Scale Up Your Supply Chain

The supply chain is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions. Research shows that about 20 percent of global carbon emissions come from multinational supply chains. However, scaling up your logistics operations doesn’t have to be detrimental to the environment.

It’s important to be mindful of your environmental impact at every step. The good thing though, is that a sustainable approach to growth will generally have the added benefits of pleasing customers, boosting efficiency, and making it even easier to further scale your business in the future.

Here is our list of five places to start scaling up your supply chain in an eco-friendly way.

1. Establish Long Term Goals

We all know that scaling up operations doesn’t happen overnight, which means you have time to plan and lay the foundations for long-term goals. Consider where you’d like to be in five years, so you can better understand what needs to be implemented to achieve those goals. For example, do you want most of your processes automated? Would you like to have more environmentally friendly transportation? Answering questions like these will make you better equipped for controlling the scale of your business.

2. Use Eco-Friendly Alternatives

A lot of unavoidable waste is produced within the supply chain, primarily in the form of packaging. However, more eco-friendly options are available today. You could ship items in biodegradable or recyclable cardboard and plastics. Also consider reusing pallets and recycle them once they’re no longer usable.
Lighting, although often overlooked, is important for warehouses and a switch to renewable energy sources could be considered. If a switch to something like solar power isn’t possible, consider using more energy efficient LED bulbs. Other options to consider could be things like robotic pickers that can operate in the dark, or even a smaller physical footprint.
Automation or even going paperless could be considerations. Not only is it more efficient but also costs down on your waste. So long as they’re followed, even the smallest of changes can make a difference when multiplied across an organization.

3. Automate Processes

As you scale up, it’s likely that some procedures will need to be automated so things run efficiently. Warehouse optimization allows you to effectively optimize various elements, including picking and packing.
An automated storage retrieval system allows for the storage of products higher than a human could realistically reach, meaning your physical footprint could be reduced. Using your warehouse space efficiently will help you become more eco-friendly before even considering energy consumption.
Accurate automation also is generally gentler and reduces the amount of damage to products. This means less waste and reduced costs due to human error. This is especially important if you’re using biodegradable packaging, which can be more fragile.
Also, not everything needs to be automated immediately. Most warehouse automation systems can be scaled as you grow.

4. Make Use of a Warehouse Management System(WMS)

Automation can help you pick and pack orders, a WMS helps organize a warehouse and manage the flow of stock. It can also help you better communicate with customers and suppliers.

If you know what your most popular products are, a WMS will help you to quickly adapt. You’ll be able to quickly identify what more is needed and what can be cut back because it’s not as popular.

Other benefits of a WMS include the ability to monitor processes from anywhere. They can also improve relationship between other parties by bang able to quickly respond to questions.

5. Intelligent Fleet Management

Switching to sustainable fuel sources, or even electric vehicles can help cut down on your carbon emissions. However, you can even go further by investing in transport management systems. (TMS),

A TMS can be great for streamlining processes. It can help with planning the most efficient routes. Not only does this decrease carbon emissions, but it also makes your transport more cost-effective.

Additionally, the systems will help you to track vehicles and capture delivery data.

While scaling up your business, it’s important to not forget about your eco-friendly credentials. That’s why as a 3PL service provider BGL offers more sustainable solutions to our customers. We know being eco-friendly is relevant to many brands. So, keep these tips in mind and contact us to help you implement more eco-friendly logistics solutions.

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