Sustainability: The new trend in supply chain management

A common goal among companies is ensuring an efficient flow of goods in less time, at less cost, and with less effort. In the last few years, another imperative that guides supply chains should work was added—making the process as green as possible.

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ConAgra Foods, makers of some of America’s favorite grocery brands, has been recognized for its breakthrough ideas in streamlining the supply chain for fast and efficient productivity delivery of orders. In recent years, efforts of the billion-dollar food company to implement sustainable practices in its supply chain are also getting attention.

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ConAgra’s strategies include teaching water-efficient irrigation practices to its partner farms, reducing greenhouse gas emissions through heat recovery, and converting organic and inorganic waste into fertilizers and recycled materials for packaging.

Green Toys, a company that makes playthings out of used-up milk jugs, has also become a benchmark in greening up the supply chain.

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The California-based toy maker has made notable efforts in sustainable production, assembly, and delivery of its products, like setting up manufacturing and warehouse facilities close to each other to reduce fuel use, and using 100 percent recyclable materials like corrugated boxes in the toys’ packaging.

Green Toys, ConAgra, and other energy-efficient companies perfectly understand how environmentally sound practices in the supply chain can fuel their growth. An energy-efficient supply chain enhances profitability in two ways. One, it effectively reduces food, water, and energy waste, and consequently, cuts the costs that companies lose from these wasted resources.

Second, as’s Adam Vacarro pointed out, green practices have become a convenient marketing strategy. Consumers are eager to support companies with responsible and conscientious practices. Hence, diffusing a brand’s sustainable strategies could translate to wider patronage and bigger sales.

A man with a knack for ingenuity, Tom Wolters spearheaded some of the revolutionary changes in ConAgra Foods, including its sustainable practices in supply chain management. Subscribe to this blog for vital business insight.