Understanding Green Sourcing

green sourcing

Recently on the Redwood blog, we have been talking a lot about the massive benefits of a greener supply chain. We have explored things like what lean manufacturing is and how circular supply chains work. However, we have yet to really touch upon where it all begins... green sourcing!

Pushing this drive to more eco-friendly goods, processes and manufacturing materials is our ever-increasing carbon footprint. In all manufacturing processes, there is an element of waste that must be considered. Of course, this is compounded further for those running a supply chain because the carbon footprint just gets bigger with the output of gases.

Of course, there are multiple ways to tackle this issue. Sure you can eliminate waste, start a recycling process or even go lean. But why not just start off on the right foot, right from the beginning? And this is where green sourcing comes into play.

Green sourcing is the act of sourcing materials or other services and commodities via eco-friendly means. By putting this practice of conscious sourcing into place, we reduce the impact on our very finely balanced natural environment. 


What Is Green Sourcing?

Green sourcing is the means by which we reutilize or minimize waste. When companies green source it means that they acquire some or all of their manufacturing materials or other items needed to run the business from eco-friendly sources. The idea behind this is to avoid wasteful use of natural resources, ensuring they will not be depleted and remain available for future generations to benefit from.

One of the most pressing concerns in the industry currently is the reduction of the by-product waste of gases put into the atmosphere. Likewise, minimizing the impact of production debris on our soil is essential.

Some organic items naturally replenish over time such as trees and rubber. However, mineral deposits such as oil, coal, iron ore, etc, which took millions of years to form, are gone for good once used up. Sure, they may return, just not in our lifetime!  

One area that has evolved a bit with the rise of technology is that of electrical production. The way we harness power in modern times is much different than how it was done for hundreds of years. We have evolved from coal/oil/gas/nuclear into the cleaner means of generation. These include things such as wind farms, solar, and hydroelectric power.

Our transportation situation has also developed more in recent years. We have gone from horse-drawn carriages to petrol-powered engines. And even more recently, we have moved on to electric cars and other gasless powered forms of transport.

In a nutshell, green sourcing is a process that is focused on using as many environmentally-friendly goods as possible in an effort to reduce pollution. The purpose is to cut down on the over-consumption of fossil fuels and other environmentally-harmful processes and tools.


Addressing the Issue of Waste 

In every manufacturing or production process, waste will always be an issue.

By taking control of the collection and destination of waste or by-products, properly treated waste recycles back to the beginning of the process. From there it is reintroduced into the production cycle again. This is what we call a circular supply chain. This supply chain model results in greater productivity and less waste. This also reduces the need for more raw materials, thereby saving cost when sufficient re-useable goods remain from a previous cycle.

One particular bane on modern society is single-use plastic containers. Examples of this include soda bottles, fast food trays, and supermarket plastic wrap and bags plus. Once used, those products end up in a landfill. It is there they will remain impervious to decay. Return for melting and reforming into something else useful is a far better option. Doing so reduces both the extraction of more materials and costs arising from the disposal of the items.


Final Thoughts

Overall, green sourcing is one of the best policies to employ. Not only has it been shown to increase profit-margins by eliminating or reworking certain expenses, but it is also good for our planet. A planet which we all rely on in order to produce our goods in one way or another. Needless to say, green sourcing is of massive benefit to everyone.

Want to learn more about green sourcing and how you can get started today? Reach out to the eco-friendly team here at Redwood Logistics!