Posted by: Matthew Molinari | April 8, 2012

Sustainable Supply Chains Mean Creating New Ideas

As more and more people are realizing that improving their supply chain is a viable way to create sustainability and reduce costs I believe we’ll start to see more companies like Harvest Power start to become commonplace. Right now, if you read about what they are doing, it seems very much like a niche market rather than a mainstream idea with broad appeal. That should not be the case within the next 10 years (I hope).

Not sure how exactly Harvest Power does what they do? Me neither to be honest but it all stems from something called anaerobic digestion:

Now I may not understand how they do it but what I do see is that they are taking waste that would otherwise sit in a landfill and  turning it into energy with compost as the byproduct. That really is fantastic. The company is based on two main ideas: we need to develop sustainable ways to create energy and it takes an engaged local community to do that.

What does this mean for your supply chain? A ton. I think the two biggest challenges facing many companies are the costs of managing waste and energy. Just because Harvest Power may not meet the need for managing your specific type of waste right now isn’t what matters. The point is that the more companies that get into the business of sustainability the better technology will get and eventually we can aim to maintain a zero waste economy.

Clearly, energy has been a hot topic for the past 15 years as costs have risen in pretty much every sector. If it continues to cost you more to produce your product than you will continue to see your margins decrease. Companies like Harvest Power are looking to reverse that trend and it takes open-minded company leaders to realize that taking on the expense of converting to more sustainable options will pay off exponentially in the long-term.

As we look towards the next 10 to 20 years and the conversation around supply chain management continues to grow louder I think that we really need to add sustainability to that conversation and Harvest Power gets that.

Please leave me a comment.

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