Climate change is a real and pressing issue that affects all generations. These environmental concerns, if left unchecked, could have disastrous and irreversible consequences. Even as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high. Promises and plans for programmes that curb their environmental impact are not enough. Actions must be taken to reduce carbon emissions. Corporate social responsibility must be prioritised. Supply chains must be assessed. Environmental management systems must be put in place. These are all to ensure that the supply chain is implementing responsible sourcing. Sustainable sourcing incorporates ethical, social, and environmental performance factors into supply chain management. It is not a new concept in the industry; but it has only been implemented in the last decade or so. It is more common in some industries like sustainable seafood and sustainable agriculture. Practices that are up to social and environmental standards have been implemented. These trade branches have begun their journey towards sustainability. As the environmental crisis continues, the hope is that more follow their lead.
In This Article:
How Sustainable Practices Benefit Your Business
The negative effects of an unsustainable supply chain continue to spread globally. Awareness of these detrimental effects needs to increase. Consumers now demand to know whether the products they buy are sourced responsibly.
Employee treatment is just as important as knowing whether raw materials are sourced sustainably. The three Ps of the triple bottom line are the planet, people, and profits.
Businesses cannot choose just one of them. Environmental responsibility and ethical business practices must be integrated into company objectives.
Better Brand Image
An effective way for a company to improve its brand image is to source materials in a sustainable way. Consumers are more likely to support brands and companies that are ethical and environmentally responsible. Commitment to sustainable sourcing will also go a long way towards brand reputation and employee satisfaction.
Lower Business Costs
Implementing any responsible sourcing policy can lower operational costs in the long run. There is a growing trend of sourcing materials and renewable energy from local communities. This helps reduce the costs of storage and transportation and also supports small businesses. Energy consumption via solar panels also minimises utility costs through energy efficiency and it helps the environment.
Five in ten people say that they are willing to pay more for products that are sustainably sourced. Most organisations that have responsible food sourcing policies can charge more for items. Identifying product categories where sustainability is important can result in higher product margins. But if you decide to charge more for sustainably derived products, be sure you can prove it.
Factors That Affect Sustainable Sourcing Practices
To continue operating a more sustainable supply chain, regulations need to be in place. Sustainability standards will make the procurement process faster and easier to understand. Manufacturers and other stakeholders need to conduct routine compliance checks.
Australia has formulated a National Waste Policy Action Plan. Part of this plan is the Sustainable Procurement Guide. The guide provides practical guidelines that includes steps, resources, case studies, eco-labels, standards, certifications, and product stewardship systems for a more sustainable procurement process.
It is incredibly important to raise awareness. Individuals and corporations must set sustainability goals to effect true change. More stakeholders mean there are more people to hold each other accountable. Actions that are not in line with goals can be stopped before they cause any harm.
Transparency is key. Each stakeholder should know their role in the process. They should also be kept informed of the general and specific sustainability goals. This enables everyone to get the full picture and ensures they do their part.
Transparency builds trust across the supply chain. When everyone understands their role in the process, they can see that it is fair and equal. And if the procedure is unjust or discriminatory in any way, it can be called out and addressed.
Sustainable Packaging by OF Packaging
Sustainable packaging is at the heart of O F Packaging’s innovation efforts. The transition to better packaging in Australian supply chains continues. We stay ahead of the curve by pushing the limits of design and manufacturing, assisting brands to make the switch to recyclable alternatives.
Significant strides have already been made in the industry. However, we always have to balance functionality and sustainability to ensure responsible, tangible solutions are in the market.
Complex plastics greatly contribute to the global waste problem. As a show of support towards a circular economy, O F Packaging offers recyclable packaging options for our clients that remove problematic materials and are more easily recyclable. They serve their intended purpose of protecting your product and extending its shelf life, but without causing problems with material separation and sorting.
The most important sustainable packaging category is recycled content, however it is also the most challenging. Obtaining high-quality recycling materials for use back into packaging is currently difficult, however as packaging is redesigned to be recyclable, this will change and provide more options.
O F Pack have recycled content films available from both Post-Industrial (PIR) and Post-Consumer (PCR) sources, depending on the products packed and requirements.
OF Packaging has compostable packaging pouches and rewind films that are certified either Industrial or Home compostable. Packaging that can be composted is a great substitute for single-use plastics. This is part of our commitment to being holistic in our packaging approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sustainable procurement a good practice?
The short answer is that yes, sustainable procurement practices are “good.” They contribute to the development of a circular economy. The aim is to reduce the economic, environmental, and social impact of goods and services. However, sustainability is a stepping stone and a change in one aspect of a business should not then have a negative environmental impact in another.
How is sustainable/responsible sourcing different from ethical sourcing?
Ethical sourcing ensures that our products are obtained in an ethical manner. It’s about being fair to the people who make our products. Responsible sourcing takes into account the environmental, social, and ethical factors.