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Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices for Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM)

GSCM helps assess the product’s environmental impact. This practice helps firms operate more sustainably and efficiently. With better management, firms can minimize their product’s carbon footprint.

Moreover, GSCM helps companies contribute to their corporate social responsibility (CSR). It helps them meet environmental goals and strive for supply chain sustainability with minimal energy and reduced carbon emissions.

Benefits of GSCM

  • Minimizes Greenhouse Gas (GHC) Emissions

Implementing GSCM helps companies reduce carbon dioxide and methane by promoting green energy resources and energy-efficient manufacturing processes. These practices reduce GHG emissions over time, which will help mitigate climate change.

  • Solid Supply Continuity

Green initiatives enhance supply chain efficiency, reduce waste and costs, and maximize reliability. For instance, a company can source locally produced materials. This way, they can cut transportation costs and emissions without big operational changes.

  • Enhanced Sustainability

GSCM helps improve the sustainability of operations because best practices lead to minimal resource consumption and maximum energy efficiency. All in all, it reduces the environmental impact and improves sustainability performance.

  • Ensures Compliance

Countries have environmental regulations that companies must comply with. However, compliance is challenging for companies operating in multiple countries with different laws. GSCM helps reduce environmental impact and ensures eco-friendly practices throughout the supply chains.

  • CSR Contributions

Green Supply Chain Management helps build a better company reputation. It contributes to CSR initiatives, ensuring customers perceive the company as environmentally responsible and committed. This impacts the brand reputation positively.

  • Builds Global Reputation

Customers are keen on working with companies committed to environmental sustainability. So, when the company adopts a green supply chain, it sees improvements in its reputation.

It helps firms build a solid relationship with green suppliers as they work towards achieving the common goal.

  • Improves Resource Efficiency

Greening the supply chain will make it more resource-efficient as it minimizes waste and optimizes processes. Companies can commit to resource efficiency and waste reduction initiatives with green supply chain partners.

Moreover, the parties can share best practices and learn from each other how to strategize green operations.

  • Less Waste and Pollution

Every company must cut waste and pollution- GSCM can help them. Collaborating with green suppliers reduces the waste produced by the supply chains.

Reduced wastage in production and packaging can increase profits, benefitting the environment and green business sense.

  • Employee Morale and Motivation

The customer satisfaction that ensues by going green influences employee morale. Also, increased motivation influences employee productivity. GSCM policies increase employee motivation by allowing them to work on green initiatives.

When employees can see better results from their work, they feel motivated to contribute to a more sustainable future. This will also inspire green behavior outside of work, positively impacting the environment.

  • Competition

A GSC gives businesses a competitive edge. It helps them enhance their bottom line and increase their customer base. Companies that adopt sustainability are the ones that will thrive in the future.

This achievement will add value to the brand in terms of revenue and growth, cost optimization, and brand value.

Therefore, adopting green practices in the supply chain is in the best business interests. It will help them future-proof the business and beat the competition.

Green supply chain practices are critical to the industry’s continued sustainability. They lead to competitiveness and economic performance in many ways by –

  1. increasing cost efficiency

  2. reducing waste

  3. meeting consumer demand for green products.

Challenges of GSCM

If not managed efficiently, some factors also hinder the adoption of green supply chain practices.

  • Leadership Commitment

When decision-makers are onboard, developing a unified approach to creating a green supply chain strategy is simple. But, when decision-makers disagree, there can be contradictions throughout the supply chain. Issues in quality control, supply chain performance, and green initiatives’ effectiveness arise.

  • Technology challenges

Many software applications and advanced technology can support GSCM at different process steps. These could be warehouse management systems (WMS) that boost warehouse efficiency. It could also refer to the latest manufacturing tech that makes products using less energy.

Companies see good results when employees learn and readily adopt tech that supports a green supply chain. If there is employee pushback or poor adoption, firms can find it challenging to implement lasting changes.
  • Brand Image and Culture

Green practices throughout the supply chain become seamless when the company and its culture support these initiatives.

When company culture does not support green initiatives, it adversely impacts success. Therefore, involving the HR team in recruiting higher-skilled resources drives better results.

  • Costs

The cost of revamping the infrastructure is higher; therefore, GSC development may seem costly initially.

For example, firms add photovoltaic solar panels to their green warehouse roof, which help generate alternative energy. This minimizes their reliance on fossil fuels, reducing the facility’s costs.

  • Knowledge

Involving GSC experts can help companies use green resources best. It helps them implement sustainable solutions and optimize results.

For example, not involving experts can reduce the strategy’s effectiveness. Conversely, agility in planning a green logistics solution can eliminate the guesswork typical to sustainable distribution chains.

Best GSC Practices

GSCs use ethical practices; hence, designing a sustainable supply chain requires best practices at every step of the product’s journey.

  • Green Purchasing

Green purchasing involves finding suppliers with environmentally sustainable products and services. It is vital since the sourcing materials lay a foundation for the rest of the supply chain.

  • Green Manufacturing

Green manufacturing facilitates the use of fewer non-renewable natural resources. It reduces pollution and waste and limits emissions to a minimum. At the same time, alternative energy sources like hydropower and wind energy reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.

  • Green Warehousing

Green warehousing ensures that warehouses run more efficiently, minimizing energy use and waste. One of the challenges is that the warehouse quickly grows obsolete. Also, older warehouses are less energy efficient, producing more CO2 emissions in the long term.

However, innovative initiatives can help resolve these issues. Using natural energy sources like hydro and wind power improves the facility. Companies can also work with third parties to manage warehouses at strategic locations.


Adopting green practices in supply chains leads to cost reductions and an increase in efficiency. The adoption also decreases pollution and the amount of resources used. As GSCM evolves, implementing green practices will promote green innovation and keep businesses ahead of the curve.

Original article from Enterprise Talk


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