The Greening of the Supply Chain: Mind your Three P’s.

June 6th, 2008

What does it mean to go Green? I was reading the Aberdeen white paper Building a Green Supply Chain from March of this year and believe they may in a concise format have the best glossary of definitions as to the meaning of and impact on what it means to be Green. Their short but effective green glossary defines the following terms.

The Greening of the Supply Chain: Mind your Three P’s.

What does it mean to go Green? I was reading the Aberdeen white paper Building a Green Supply Chain from March of this year and believe they may in a concise format have the best glossary of definitions as to the meaning of and impact on what it means to be Green. Their short but effective green glossary defines the following terms.

1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) posits that companies have a responsibility to be social and environmental stewards and that having a positive impact on society and the planet is as important as profit.
2. Green refers to practices, processes and products that have a minimal impact on the health of the ecosystem. The emphasis is on non hazardous recyclable, reusable, and energy efficient products and processes.
3. Sustainability ensures the ability to meet present needs and profits, today, without compromising the ability to meet them tomorrow.
4. Triple Bottom Line (TBL) determines that business has positive impacts on the three P’s: people, profit and planet and is a standard framework for CSR agendas.

It might be interesting to ask CEO’s around the country if they agree with these definitions. Many probably do. The answer would however be a good indicator of a company’s commitment to being Green and not just caught up in green wash.

Yesterday Wal-Mart and Costco announced better than expected results for their past quarter and the stock market was delighted. What if their results had not been as good and same store sales were flat? But concurrently the companies offered guidance of the significant and positive impact they are having on the evolution of a green supply chain. Would Wall Street have reacted in the same way? Personally I think it highly unlikely.

The great news is that every day more and more emphasis is being placed on this subject by companies of all sizes.

I look forward to your comments.

Ron

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