How Brands are Incorporating Sustainability Factor in their Supply Chains
How Brands are Incorporating Sustainability Factor in their Supply Chains

There is a huge shift that has been observed in the brand's world as the industry is switching to a non-retailer-based model and incorporating D2C models in their businesses. And the same trend is forecast to grow over 15 times, almost threefold from the current size by reaching $100 billion, as per the recent report by Statista. 

D2C is becoming a pivotal factor and disrupting the retail industry post-pandemic. The innovative approach, quality product, unbelievable level of customization is catching the attention of especially young customers towards D2C brands. 

Lavanya Pachisia, VP Finance, Zivame mentioned, “For a consumer, order delivery is the moment of truth.” And delivering an excellent experience in the retail world ruled by brands like Amazon, D2C brands have to emphasize quick delivery with an excellent experience. And thus, to maximize efficiency and customer expectation D2C brands are experimenting with different supply chain methods by upgrading the tech infrastructure with the latest technologies. 

The Business & Sustainable Development Commission shared how sustainable business models will, “open economic opportunities worth up to $12 trillion and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030.” Thus, big brands are making big differences with their massive efforts of making a greener and sustainable planet.

Best Supply Chain Management Globally

Supply chain management is a key corporate goal as companies have started measuring the environmental impact of their products from inbound raw material to last-mile doorstep delivery. And they are also taking steps to track sustainability in their supply chain management systems. For suppliers and retailers, D2C is a smart move as it is increasing the business resilience as well as enabling the excellent execution of logistics by anticipating the problems and resolving the same at the earliest. 

Brands have realized that focusing on sustainability is a critical part of the modern supply chain by locating and arranging warehouses and fulfillment centers at the nearest location to optimize travel time and resources. 

READ MORE: Blockchain and Automation Revolutionizing Supply Chains

Many big brands are known for their best supply chain management system. Worldwide known fashion retailer H&M is known for its cost-sufficient production and compact lead time for inventory. Nestle, the largest F&B company included responsible sourcing, Starbucks employed critical supply chain best practices like vetting suppliers strictly, committing to innovation, and eliminating the waste and inefficiency, and even PepsiCo too took some sustainability initiatives like collaborative production scheduling, setting buffers for inventory. Be it Intel, 3M, Walmart, Samsung, L’Oréal, or Nike all had transformed their supply chain, and are promoting open communication with the highly innovative and progressive approach by creating programs to support suppliers and on-site quality inspection. 

Annette Clayton, CEO, and President, Schneider mentioned, “As a purpose-led company, we have the responsibility to bring safe, sustainable, reliable, and connected energy to our customers, so the supply chain plays an essential role now more than ever. With our digitization efforts, our supply chain continues to grow smarter and enables us to understand how we must tailor our offerings to meet customers’ needs and achieve our purpose.” 

Walmart – Project Gigaton, Google - Global Fishing Watch, Apple – Closed Loop Supply Chain, IKEA – Energy Recovery -- all are focusing on different elements of health to education to equality to the environment. 

The Capacity to Endure

Socially responsible business not only attracts the client but also attracts the customers with their beliefs and values. First and foremost, the responsibility of being sustainable is reducing the carbon footprints (environmental) and ensuring living wages for employees (socially responsible). And next by maintaining economic viability and financial health as well as exploring new ways of doing business. Finding a sustainable supplier/ green supplier is the key to operating a business in an environmentally–friendly way as they use materials wisely (recycle) and ensure a safe environment for employees. 

A sustainable supply chain delivers on the triple bottom line, the three P’s, People, Profit, and Planet. Focusing on the positioning of inventory (faster availability and lower emissions), shipping (eco-friendly), packaging (multiple items together), and returns (reducing waste) is driving the supply chain sustainability. 

By following the best practices, brands can ‘plan, make, and deliver’ the environmentally responsible principles. There are various solutions available to brands like intelligent fulfillment platforms, accomplished of performing reverse logistics, product re-merchandising, reducing waste. The AI-empowered analytical engine is also one of the eco-friendly shipping options for creating a sustainable, transparent, and socially conscious supply chain. To address sustainability goals, intelligent workflow and blockchain platform is helping in building an ecosystem with trusted supply chain suppliers. Undoubtedly, the future lies in creating a vibrant culture of engaged customers and bringing sustainability to the forefront. 

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