In order for large companies to operate successfully on a consistent basis, it is important for them to build a strong reputation, be willing to take risks and be positioned to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Cynthia Cummis, manager of the World Resources Institution’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol product and value chain initiative, recently co-wrote a piece with Forbes contributor Manish Bapna stating that improving supply chain management systems can significantly affect how a business manages all three of those factors that are crucial for success.
According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol's website, companies are increasingly interested in reducing their carbon footprint. In order to improve their supply chain management, some businesses are implementing protocols that would hold them accountable for reducing their carbon footprint throughout their distribution and manufacturing stages.
Cummis and Bapna wrote that one of the largest food retailers in the world, Kraft Foods, recently started saving its raw material suppliers significant amounts of money. The company announced that after discovering that 70 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions came from its raw materials, it reevaluated how it could save on energy and fuel use, which resulted in significant bottom line benefits.
Although Kraft took a risk when deciding to look at its spending and change its processes, the company saw a handsome payoff not only in terms of dollars and cents, but from a burnished corporate image. Despite examples like this, Cummis and Bapna stated that there aren't enough companies following in Kraft's footsteps. They cited a Carbon Disclosure Project survey to underscore their point.
"Such examples of corporate leadership are heartening, but unfortunately still far too few companies have taken this step," they wrote. "Returning to the CDP survey, only eight of 405 companies measured most of their indirect emissions, such as purchasing raw materials and customer use and disposal of their products.