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Lauren Bossers' Blog

June 2010 Previous month Next month

The short answer: a definite "no."


I came across this article today, and had to share it with the community in my first blog post here. From, "How Sustainable is Your Personal Supply Chain?" asks us to take a closer look at our role, and the role of businesses, in building sustainable supply chains.


In the introductory paragraph, the article states, "Most people never think of themselves as consumers, producers, and service providers who use companies and businesses to accomplish their goals. But we are all active members of almost innumerable supply chains, and this has enormous ramifications for the environment." As a self-admitted supply chain nerd, I actually think about my role in the supply chain on a regular basis--when I go to the grocery store and there's an empty shelf, when I pass an 18-wheeler for a big-box store on the highway, when I write a product review on, and many, many more times in any given week.


But, I don't always think about my role in the supply chain from a sustainability perspective; despite the fact that I am an avid recycler, I realize there is much more I can do. While this article goes on to address sustainability primarily from a corporate perspective (and has some pretty great charts you should check out), it definitely got me thinking.


This quote, in particular, is staggering:

"According to the Global Footprint Network, we currently are using 1.3 times the amount of resources available in the planet. This means that supply chains need to be optimized to bring us under '1 Earth' worth of consumption with margin to accommodate population growth. The more we know about our personal and professional supply chains, the more sustainable we can make them."


While companies have made some progress in sustainability, it's clearly not enough. Government regulations, corporate stewardship, pressure from consumers, and sustainability as a PR move haven't added up to the amount of change the world needs.


What will be the tipping point to really institutionalize the notion of a sustainable supply chain? Will that tipping point even arrive before significant, irrevocable damage is done? Will greater numbers of consumers be willing to pay more for goods from "greener" companies?