I found this recent Industry Week article on moving past green hype to be quite fascinating indeed. One of the suggestions that it makes is one all organizations should heed. To wit, "for the greatest 'green' result, supply chain management and staff must influence the organization's long-term approach to raw material sourcing, engineering design, and transport alternatives." But to this point I'd also add the importance of bringing core strategic sourcing and category managers into the picture as well, to help triangulate to the best possible cost/sustainability equation. As a final aside to the piece, the author makes a worthwhile suggestion to consider when he notes that "there are many operational and 'green' advantages to manufacturing locally in the U.S. rather than outsourcing to Asia. Outsourcing to Asia is intuitively not green. It creates a 12,000 mile supply chain, which adds other issues, such as risk of manufacturing interruption, poor product quality, and higher transport costs, such as from two sets of docking fees and higher inventory levels to accommodate transit time." So is green yet another nail in the coffin of China and Asia sourcing? Probably not, but it's at least one factor to consider.
- Jason Busch