Pollution Prevention Institute launches website dedicated to supply chain sustainability

Online resource designed to help New York businesses develop best practices in the supply chain

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The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has launched a new website to provide New York state businesses with a resource for gaining information about the benefits of supply chain sustainability and how to find assistance implementing sustainable practices.

The Sustainable Supply Chain Information Hub features resources and tools that inform companies of customer expectations and common sustainability requests to engage as business partners. It is designed to inform decision-making and support the adoption of industry best practices for sustainable supply management.

“We’re very pleased to launch our Information Hub, a comprehensive online resource designed to assist companies with improving their environmental impacts in the supply chain,” said Patricia Donohue, senior engineer and NYSP2I’s sustainable supply chain program manager. “We welcome businesses from all industries to use this site to gain knowledge about this developing concept and identify the means and resources to create change and, in turn, achieve new ways to create social and economic value for their companies.”

The United Nations Global Compact defines supply chain sustainability as “the management of environmental, social and economic impacts, and the encouragement of good governance practices, throughout the lifecycles of goods and services.

“The objective of supply chain sustainability,” according to the U.N. strategic policy initiative, “is to create, protect and grow long-term environmental, social and economic value for all stakeholders involved in bringing products and services to market.”

The “Supplier Continuous Improvement” section of the Information Hub website conveys a “Sustainability Management Cycle” strategy—based on lean six sigma and management system concepts—to enable companies to create a business system that successfully integrates sustainability at every level throughout the company. It also provides “do-it-yourself” guidance for companies to ultimately reduce their environmental impacts in the areas of energy, water, waste and air.

“A company seeking to establish its own supplier requirements may wish to use the sustainability management cycle process to establish a supplier ‘scorecard’ and measure a supplier’s performance,” Donohue said.

Supply chain sustainability is based on the principle that responsible products and practices are not only good for the environment and employees, but are often the key to long-term profitability. It’s an important business issue today affecting many companies—how an organization’s supply chain or purchasing decisions are impacting costs associated with risk, waste and impacts on the environment.

“Today’s businesses are seeing a growing need for integrating environmentally sound choices into supply chain management,” Donohue observed.

A reoccurring theme of NYSP2I’s Information Hub website is how supply chain processes and technologies go beyond merely the focus of logistics, delivery and traditional views of cost. Supply chain sustainability oftentimes includes better purchasing decisions and projects to reduce energy consumption, any form of waste and the application of green technologies within manufacturing operations. An even larger shift today involves a deeper level of collaboration with internal and external supply chain partners to reexamine natural resource extraction, product materials and end-of-life strategies.

The “Focus Industries” section emphasizes industry sectors that are important to New York state and have supply chain opportunities, including food, electronics, and paper and printing. This section includes topics such as “Industry Best Practices,” “Corporate Reporting and Product Declarations” and “Trade Associations or Consortia that can offer support.”

NYSP2I plans to continuously update its new website with the latest information on sustainable supply chain management. Go to http://www.rit.edu/affiliate/nysp2i/infohub/ for information.