Importance of Developing a Sustainable Business

1235 words (5 pages) Business Assignment

11th Jun 2020 Business Assignment Reference this

Tags: Business AssignmentsBusinessSustainability

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DEFINITION

Sustainability is a method implemented by various organizations that focuses on providing services to the present generation while keeping the needs of the future generation in mind (Grant, M., and Kenton, W., 2019).

Three pillars of sustainability are:

  • Economic- profits
  • Environmental- planet and
  • Social- people.

SUMMARY

The authors of this article have proposed a structured approach that various organizations can implement in their supply chain to attain sustainability. It involves the collection of data by using the concept of traceability to analyze the impact of the entire supply chain on the environment (Marconi, M., Marilungo, E., Papetti, A., & Germani, M., 2017). Additionally, their approach is supported by an experimental case study of a leather shoe making company in Marche region. In the case study apart from the environmental aspects, the design, costs and quality of shoes were also given equal weightage. The steps involved in their approach are:

1) Data Collection/ Data Sharing- This step involves the collection of data related to traceability and environmental sustainability, from each actor of supply chain model. Major drawback of this approach is that companies are not willing to share their information.

Example- In the leather shoe making company, data was collected from tanneries, insole producer, sole producer and factory where the shoes are assembled.

2) Data Elaboration- This step involves the use of data collected to create a complex flow chart indicating flow of materials within the supply chain.

Example- Data was used to create various tables, charts and flow charts to summarize the information collected from various sources.

3) Result Interpretation- This step involves analyzing and interpreting data to identify areas that can be improved and what corrective actions can be taken.

Example- Data was analyzed to see which actor has the most effect on the environment. 3 tanneries were involved in the supply chain of the shoe making company. Tannery A was found to be more environmental friendly as compared to Tannery B and C.

Advantage of this approach is that it gives organizations, the liberty to choose the most appropriate and sustainable suppliers who in turn can wisely choose their suppliers.

The authors of this article (Marco Marconi, Eugenia Marilungo, Alessandra Papetti and Michele Germani) have done extensive research on various studies on sustainable supply chain management. From their studies they realized that even though Boukherroub et al. (2015) and his peers proposed various approaches, there were some drawbacks to it due to which they proposed their approach (Marconi, M., Marilungo, E., Papetti, A., & Germani, M., 2017). The authors of this article realizes the importance of supply chain and traceability and their co-relation to the products. I believe this article is very well thought of and most of the statements in this article are supported by evidence from existing literature.

DISCUSSION

Due to the alarming effects on the environment, many organizations are moving towards a more sustainable approach. There is a constant pressure from the government and other communities on the organizations to stop thinking about just the “economic benefits” but also promote “green products and processes” to attain sustainability.

How can sustainability be achieved and at what stage? Production involves several steps that need to be implemented before a final product can be released into distribution. Sustainability needs to be implemented at each stage of production to ensure that the final output is “green”. However, there are no specific set of tools and techniques to attain sustainable supply chain. This article relates to sustainability because it enlists ways in which any organization can move towards a more sustainable approach.

If the leather shoe making company uses child labor to assemble the final product then are they truly sustainable? The answer is “NO.” Apart from environmental sustainability, there are other branches to sustainability as well i.e., economic and social that need to be considered.

I believe the most challenging part of developing sustainable business is the lack of awareness and the willingness to do it. Below are some of the steps I believe could be a stepping stone for organizations to go towards sustainable business (Doug., n.d.).

1)      Clearly identify your organizations goals in terms of the output.

2)      Always include your supply chain while listing out the goals.

3)      Evaluate your supply chain using the approach outlined by Marco Marconi, Eugenia Marilungo, Alessandra Papetti and Michele Germani (2017).

4)      Based on the evaluation, make a selection criteria for your suppliers to ensure they are truly sustainable. Before selecting your supplier, study their processes to ensure they are sustainable.

5)      Keep monitoring your supply chain and take corrective actions when necessary.

6)      Educate your employees on the importance of sustainability and your organizations goal towards it.

The recent fire in Amazon forest is the biggest example of how organizations are failing to maintain sustainability. There is an 80% increase in the number of forest fires in Brazil. Meteorologist are indicating that 99% of the fires are due to human activities (Young, J., 2019).

The need of the hour is for organizations to develop sustainable business which can be achieved by atleast following the approach proposed by Marco Marconi, Eugenia Marilungo, Alessandra Papetti and Michele Germani (2017).

REFERENCES

1)      Grant, M., and Kenton, W. (2019, June 25). Sustainability. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sustainability.asp

2)      Marconi, M., Marilungo, E., Papetti, A., & Germani, M. (2017, May 11). Traceability as a means to investigate supply chain sustainability: the real case of a leather shoe supply chain. International Journal of Production Research55(22). DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2017.1332437., Database: Business Source Premier

3)      Doug. (n.d.). What is Sustainable Supply Chain Management? Retrieved from https://www.rmagreen.com/rma-blog/what-is-sustainable-supply-chain-management

4)      Young, J. (2019, August 23). Blame humans for starting the Amazon fires, environmentalists say. Retrived from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/22/americas/amazon-fires-humans-intl-hnk-trnd/index.html

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