The world gets more complex each year that passes, and we need strong leadership in the supply chains more than ever. But what if we bring yet another new aspect to the picture, circular economy? Circular economy is raising its importance which is excellent news for companies, who can bring vital value in the end-to-end circular economy supply chain. I would like to highlight a few ideas on how to enhance the green supply chain in an economical way that is good for the environment, too.
The famous 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) is gaining space also in developing countries, which is great. Companies operating in a circular economy should boost end-to-end view and support the 3R’s 100 %. It’s important to see the bigger picture and challenge that the 4th R could become revalorization, which could be turning the end waste to for example energy rather than landfill it. Waste-to-energy as renewable energy and future baseload is still rather new concept in many parts of the world. The concept is well proven in Nordic countries but still quite unknown for example in Africa. Someone needs to be the first. Should we add another R to the formula?
Circular economy integrates many stakeholders directly and indirectly. How to manage the data flows? Information technology platforms can bring much-needed transparency to the supply chain and among the supply chain players. Key role and responsibility remain with the product owners who control the chain of information. Information must flow and there must be trust among the parties. But what brings the trust? I argue that trust is built with a strong vision from the end users who empower the whole chain of stakeholders to follow the same goals, together. Information management in the supply chains is maybe more vital than ever but does it really bring value? I see yes, it does, if integrated to the management systems properly and used as a support function to run supply chains effectively.
Big corporations have finally started to place effort on green values and raised the importance of circular economy throughout the whole supply chain. There are already good examples by the Tech giants from this kind of initiatives. Sustainability in the supply chain is a KPI that is still rather difficult to monitor but which has a direct positive impact on the environment when done right. Such an index could act as one enabler for suppliers to get selected to become part of the supply chain? Would that be valued by the end Customers and does that increase the cost? I think not, just look at how the renewables such wind and solar are doing now cost wise against traditional energy forms. I believe that people can find a solution to any problem when given the right reason close enough to their values.