Creating the Sustainable Electronics Supply Chain
by Bridget McCrea.
When Cargill stopped doing business with a palm oil supplier that was facing accusations of environmental and human rights violations, it was just one of many indicators of how far companies have come on the supply chain sustainability front over the last few years. Defined as a holistic view of supply chain processes and technologies that addresses the environmental, social, legal, and economic aspects of a supply chain’s components, supply chain sustainability helps organizations better understand that they’re part of a larger system, and not just operating as single entities.
Cargill, which is on track to achieve a 100% transparent and sustainable palm oil supply chain by 2020, isn’t alone in its quest. Numerous electronics companies, in fact, have joined the fray and taken steps to create more sustainable supply chains. In 4 Supply Chain Predictions for 2018, Forbes notes that transparency and sustainability will shape consumer demand, and discusses how the “explosion of demand from consumers to know where their products are originating” and extremely granular information requirements are pushing more companies to rethink their supply chain sustainability approaches.
Take the NextWave consortium, for example. The group includes Dell, General Motors, and other corporations, all of which are working to industrialize the use of ocean-bound plastic in manufacturing by collecting it before it reaches the sea, according to Oceans Deeply. Through this initiative, the organizations are bringing “industrial scale to artisanal efforts to tackle the ocean plastic pollution crisis by building a supply chain to intercept plastic trash and turn it into everything from packaging and furniture to bicycle parts,” Todd Woody writes in Dell, GM to Create Ocean Plastic Supply Chain to Fight Marine Pollution.
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