Six Steps for Greening Your Global Supply Chain

Global trade management firm offers retailers strategies for adopting environmentally responsible manufacturing practices

Wayland, MA — April 14, 2008 — RockBlocks Group, Inc., a provider of global sourcing and supply chain solutions for consumer packaged goods, grocery, electronics, department and specialty stores, branded apparel, and footwear retailers, has announced a list of "Six Steps for Greening Your Global Supply Chain" to help retailers achieve a competitive advantage while adopting environmentally responsible manufacturing practices.

RockBlocks said that green supply chains not only reduce overall environmental impact, but improve the strength, efficiency and productivity of supply chain operations.

"The supply chain is more international, complex and dynamic than ever before, and corporations are now held accountable for reducing environmental impact while continuing to meet the needs of shareholders and customers," said David Diamond, CEO, RockBlocks. "What retailers need to realize is that a green supply chain can be achieved in a manner that will save an organization time and money and improve product quality."

Diamond said his company's six steps were developed to provide organizations with a blueprint for meeting their environmental goals without sacrificing the bottom line.

Step One: Carbon Footprint and Environmental Impact Assessment
The first step is to assess your organization's current carbon footprint and its impact on the environment. Operational, carbon and environmental metrics can capture your footprint on a global, regional, facility and product level. The most efficient way to do this is to break the sourcing process down into steps — raw material, production, production byproduct, packaging and delivery.

Step Two: Establish Metrics for Measurement
Next, measure your organization's carbon footprint by assigning a green rating to each of your sourcing steps, from 1 to 5. This basic metric permits the improvement of carbon emissions across your product line, and enables you to align your activities with your environmental goals. Over time, you will become more adept at measuring the actual emissions from each step in the manufacturing and delivery processes, and will be able to favorably compare your products against both predecessor products and competitor's products.

Step Three: Identification of Alternatives
Once your organization's carbon footprint has been established, each step of the sourcing process can be examined and alternatives that produce less carbon emissions can be identified. Alternatives include nature-friendly component substitutes, maximization of material consumption, transportation optimization and waste reduction.

Step Four: Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
Corporations can motivate green behavior and attain sustainability goals through their employees, across the organization, and throughout their extended supply chains by instituting incentive programs. These actions resonate with the demands of discerning end-users/consumers, who are more willing to support goods and services that have the least overall impact on the environment.

Step Five: Global Environmental Review
As retailers go global and establish facilities and interests in emerging markets like Eastern Europe, India and China, it is important that they select suppliers that comply with their highest standards and best practices for carbon emissions. By implementing an ongoing system of review, retailers can be sure that their partners are aligned with the same environmental goals.

Step Six: Building a Sustainable Brand
Once an efficient sourcing process is in place, many companies extend their commitment to environmental strategy to include the development of sustainable products. Retailers have an opportunity to increase brand loyalty and profitability by developing merchandise that appeals to the eco-friendly consumer.