With the growing urgency of combating climate change and the increased need for more sustainable development, it has become inevitable for companies to adapt to a changing world. But what does sustainability actually mean? And how can your business transform its value chain to become more sustainable? In this article, Inchainge discusses everything you need to know about sustainability. Furthermore, we will inform you about our business games. Our business simulations help you grasp crucial strategies that allow businesses to continue their growth sustainably.Topics in this article
Giving a short definition, sustainability, according to UN World Commission on Environment and Development, simply translates into “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.”
With climate change knocking on our door, sustainability has grown in importance. Striving for sustainable development, also businesses need to adapt their way of operating. This includes the implementation of circular value chains and the reduction of their carbon footprint as part of a holistic sustainability strategy.
However, this leaves us with a rather vague understanding of sustainability and sustainable development. Diving further into the subject, three core elements that define and guide sustainability surface and give a better insight into what sustainable development means for businesses: people, planet, profit!
People stands for the care for employees within the organization, but also outside the organization. Caring about people means offering a livable environment, respecting human rights, and ensuring good working conditions in other countries. For example, good working conditions in countries where the raw materials come from.
Planet stands for a proactive attitude with regards to the natural environment. This can be done by contributing to solving environmental problems on which the organization has influence. Often, this translates into paying special attention to the circular value chain and renewable energy sources.
Profit is about the creation of economic value through the production of goods and the provision of services. An organization has to be profit-oriented to secure its own future. The presence of profit is therefore a precondition for improving the two other dimensions.
It has become increasingly clear that modern businesses need to transform how they operate their value chains. Two factors are thereby particularly important. First, circularity – the reuse and recycling of materials. Second, energy – moving towards renewable energy sources and conscious energy usage.
Such ideas will have lasting impacts on supply chains, from alternative raw materials down to return flows and changed activities in manufacturing. The ‘circular economy’, the related term ‘cradle to cradle’, and indicators such as the carbon footprint are all gaining a lot of attention in the wider supply chain community.
Also, Inchainge has occupied itself with questions of sustainability and how to address them within the value chain.
In terms of circularity, our serious game The Blue Connection helps you understand how to increase economic growth through circular strategies that foster environmental sustainability. These entail maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishment and recycling.
In terms of energy sources, our simulation The Fresh Connection further addresses a company’s carbon footprint and helps you to develop strategies to reduce it.
Our strategies enable companies to enter new markets and gain market share. Furthermore, they offer new and differentiating propositions, create competitive advantage, utilize the latest technology, and apply solutions to sustain our planet and your business.
A high-performing value chain needs the collaboration of team members from across the organization. Tearing down silos and creating the right cross-functional mindset, however, can be a serious challenge. So, what do you need in order to achieve success? Ideally, you’d like your team to experiment with different scenarios wherein they learn to overcome various obstacles.
When setting up a supply chain strategy, important decisions lie ahead. Do you want to run an efficient supply chain organization? Or do you want to be able to respond quickly to market changes and grow your company? Are you dealing with ever more events, that may disrupt your supply chain? Is being sustainable, or becoming circular of strategic importance to you and your business?
Volatility has always played a crucial role in supply chains, hence in supply chain management. Maybe there is a sudden surge in demand for bottled water because a hurricane is approaching – or perhaps there is a sudden drop in demand for LCD screens because of newer technologies. Inchainge believes it is important that companies make conscious choices about how to deal with volatility and make that a part of how they manage their business.
An end-to-end supply chain can have several benefits such as reducing labor and material costs. But what other benefits does an end-to-end supply chain have? And what are the trade-offs in supply chain management? Read everything you need to know about end-to-end supply chain in this article.