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How to turn sustainability in Supply Chain & Distribution into an opportunity for resilient business models

Clement Falquet
2 Nov 2021

Up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in industries come from the supply chain. In the critical race to combat climate change, sustainable supply chains are thus a business imperative. That’s not all. In pursuit of sustainability outcomes, supply chain transformation unlocks wide-ranging business benefits, including improved operational performance and enhanced brand image.

Implementing critically needed sustainable practices also gives supply chain leaders an opportunity to minimise risks, reduce costs and increase corporate value.

Sustainable supply chains also drive business performance

It is time to act. Supply chain leaders cannot ignore the increasing demands from regulatory authorities, customers, and the financial markets for sustainable and transparent value chains.

3 main levers to improve sustainability performance:

  • Transform the supply chain network for CO2 efficiency
  • Integrate sustainability at the heart of your last-mile strategy
  • Optimise end-to-end planning to limit inventory obsolescence and waste

Let’s look at these in more detail:

  1. Transform the supply chain network design for CO2 efficiency

The best supply chain network should be designed around the three sustainability pillars of environmental, social, and economic factors. We recommend a dual approach: First, reduce transportation distance and risks, and select the most appropriate travel mode; Second, maximise the usage rate of transportation and warehousing assets, while minimising their environmental footprint — for example green and shared warehouses.

  1. Integrate sustainability at the heart of your last-mile strategy

On the downstream side, the implementation of a sustainable last-mile strategy will help tackle new distribution models and decarbonise operations. For example, this might include multi-modal delivery solutions in urban environments and partnering with sustainable last-mile delivery players. An efficient collect & reverse flow will also enable end-of-life treatment and refurbishment for products, which contributes to the circular economy opportunity.

  1. Optimise end-to-end planning to limit inventory obsolescence and waste

Supply chain visibility is essential for reducing waste. Connecting consumer demand with suppliers and subcontractors, as well as providing end-to-end visibility of the value chain, will enable you to optimise resource consumption, waste, and stock levels. This is particularly important in the food industry, where nearly one-third of all the food produced in the world is never eaten. Advanced analytics combined with data sharing through digital platforms, including customers, suppliers, and subcontractors, helps consumer products company limit the impact of their waste along the chain.

Sustainable supply chain partner

At Capgemini Invent, we bring a range of assets and experience in optimising supply chain networks that can help our clients achieve a 15 percent decrease on the overall CO2 footprint of the entire value chain. We build optimised supply chains combining sustainability, performance, and new business opportunities. Starting with our Sustainable Supply Chain Assessment solution, we identify the sustainable hot spots that help our clients turn sustainability into a competitive advantage along the end-to-end supply chain.

Find out more

Get in touch to find out more about Capgemini Invent’s recommended approach to supply chain sustainability. We’ll help you accelerate your path to sustainable business success with our Sustainable Operations & Supply Chain solutions. Know more here.