Once considered the domain of eco-warriors, such as ‘Swampy’ and Prince Charles, environmental awareness has, over the past year, been catapulted to the forefront of main-stream thinking – we are now all expected to be ‘greener’ than ‘green’.
But regardless of the veracity of the arguments for or against Industry’s influence on climate change, the ‘green’ agenda has gained political momentum and now retailers, manufacturers and the world’s leading corporations are clamouring to proclaim their green credentials in a bid to gain acceptance among ‘enlightened’ consumers.
The problem remains, however, that consumers still want low-cost goods, which implies sourcing products from distant locations. Unfortunately, that’s difficult to reconcile with maintaining a more eco-friendly profile. Under these somewhat schizophrenic conditions, supply chain professionals are under considerable pressure to reduce the ‘carbon footprint’ of their supply chains whilst retaining hard-gained cost advantages arrived at through sourcing from low-cost economies.
In this environmental special issue, we have brought together the latest thinking on this significant challenge for supply chain management. In particular, the latest research undertaken by Cranfield School of Management highlights the issues and offers guidelines for companies to follow in order to understand the ‘carbon footprint’ generated by a product’s supply chain.
And Supply Chain Standard too is embracing this desire to be environmentally aware by introducing an e-magazine – available from this issue – whereby the content of the paper version of the magazine is produced as an emailable pdf. The advantages are that this version will be available to read before the print edition, and helps make our supply chain greener by reducing our reliance on paper in order to extend our readership. Readers can print off pages at their desks, do keyword searches, and interact more with the magazine by clicking on stories to visit related websites or email advertisers. For more information go to www.supplychainstandard.com/emagazine.
Nick Allen, Editor