Extending Sustainability into the Supply Chain
Public Sector Award Winner: The City of Calgary - Supply Management Division
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, www.calgary.ca
Calgary's Supply Management Division has set a long-term goal to ensure that the goods and services purchased by the city are produced according to recognized ethical and environmental standards. In addition, Supply Management has set a goal to increase the awareness of how a supply chain can affect the environment but also how the environment can have an effect on the operation of a supply chain.
Supply Management's main strategy provides for the adoption of a "sustainable, environmental and ethical procurement policy" (SEEPP), developed with a "triple bottom line" (TBL) approach to ensure that purchasing decisions include environmental, ethical and economic criteria. The SEEPP has established guidelines so Supply Management can purchase goods and services that embody environmental benefits such as energy efficiency and recycled content.
The SEEPP is implemented through two components, including, first, a supplier code of conduct (SCC) and "assessment of leadership vendor questionnaire" that allows Supply Management to evaluate how a supplier operates its business from an ethical and environmental perspective. The SCC is a set of minimum standards that suppliers must meet with respect to fundamental human rights and environmental stewardship. The second tool is custom specifications for a product or service; this could include a certain environmental certification or certification that the product is produced in a manner that minimizes impacts on the environment.
In 2007 SEEPP was applied to four commodity areas: apparel, food, chemicals and custodial services. In 2008 the policy was extend to include print services, furniture, special events, consumer electronics, stationary, courier/freight, promotional items, paints, plastics, flooring and appliances. As a contract within these commodity areas comes up for renewal, the SEEPP is applied.
Leading Green from the Top
Supplier Award Winner: Bell Incorporated
Sioux Falls, S.D. www.bell-inc.com
Back before green became a buzzword in supply chain, Mark Graham, Bell's president and CEO, provided a sustainability vision that inspired the environmentally sound practices that are a habit at Bell today. "Our senior leaders know that sustainability is good not only for Bell's bottom line, but for the customers we serve, and for the future of our planet," says Benjamin Graham, a vice president with the company.
Bell, one of the largest and fastest-growing independent folding carton companies in North America, has put its principles into practice by achieving Cradle to Cradle certification for courier envelopes. Postal Service customers use more than 200 million of the envelopes every year, and the certification, developed by design firm MBDC, verifies that every Bell supplier that contributes to the manufacture of the envelopes uses environmentally safe and healthy materials; designs for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; uses renewable energy and energy efficiency; ensures efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production; and institutes strategies for social responsibility.
Bell has applied the same level of scrutiny to its own operations and adopted a philosophy of transparency. For example, the company undertook a lead-reduction initiative with GE that involved opening for scrutiny every detail of its operations. Elsewhere, the company has undertaken activities around recycling, waste reduction and more efficient facilities, equipment and asset management. Bell also has hired for sustainability, bringing on a new supply chain manager, David Gabel, with extensive Fortune 500 experience and a world-class passion for green supply chain programs. His first public pronouncement was his intent to achieve total elimination of waste "in everything but the lunch room, and then we'll tackle that!"
Making Green Pallet-able
Supplier Award Winner: CHEP
Orlando, Fla., www.chep.com
CHEP, a leader in pallet and container pooling solutions, has established sustainable development criteria as a core component in the design and execution of all its products, services and processes in order to meet its goal of improving overall supply chain efficiency and sustainability.
An EPA SmartWay Partner, CHEP has incorporated the use of more eco-friendly methods of transportation such as barge and rail into its transportation optimization and reduction initiatives. On the material recovery, reuse and recycling side, it has undertaken biomass renewable energy generation and recycling programs for wood, corrugate, steel and plastic. And on the supply side, the company has targeted sourcing 100 percent of its lumber from certified managed forests, which help prevent deforestation through responsible harvesting, reforestation and biodiversity preservation – for example, most CHEP suppliers plant three or more trees for every tree harvested.
In terms of its service offerings, CHEP says its pooled pallet offering has been verified by waste management consulting firm Franklin Associates to produce less solid waste, consume less total energy and generate less greenhouse gas emissions than other common shipping platforms. Based on the 240 million pallets that the company issued in 2007, the company estimates that its offerings helped eliminate 1.3 billion pounds of solid waste and saved enough electricity to power every household in a city like Wilmington, Del., for a year.