ENVIRONMENT/ GOVERNANCE / ECONOMY
Topic: General Studies 2,3:
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development
Environmentalism: A Green Supply Chain
Context: The United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the World Bank Group’s global practices have recognised environment sustainability as an essential issue of global importance.
Environmental sustainability is understood as
- Buying greener products
- Avoiding hazardous materials
- Energy optimisation
- Waste reduction.
Present Challenges of achieving Environment Sustainability
- Fear of losing Profits: Some firms are still reluctant to engage in environmentally beneficial activities as they are afraid to compromise on the economic benefits
- Adoption by Force: Some firms have positioned environmental practices at the forefront due to legislation and government commitments but not on voluntary basis.
- Short term green practices: Manufacturing sector, get so serious about the low-hanging fruits of waste reduction and energy efficiency improvements that they fail to recognise the need for restructuring their learning imperatives and see the big picture of environmentalism
Way Ahead – Green supply chain
- These include green procurement, green manufacturing, green distribution, and reverse logistics.
- With practices starting from acquisition of eco-friendly raw material to disposal/ reuse/ recycle of used products,employees, suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers will be able to integrate environmental concerns in the daily operations of a firm
- This ensures that environmental sustainability is from the source (willingness) and not through force (regulations).
Benefits of Green Supply chain
- Enables Restructuring of Firms & ecosystem: Green supply chain practices enable organisational learning in environmental sustainability. This further promotes environmentalism across all players in manufacturing supply chains.
- Helps firms Better Strategize to future needs: The resultant learning system smoothens the knowledge flow in the organisation and help firms to strategise for better performance, bearing in mind the environmental aspects.
- Leads to Higher Economic performance in long run: Research shows that green Supply Chain not only lead to a long-lasting natural drive towards environmental performance, but also to higher economic performance
- Society will be prioritised over Profits: Understanding environmental links will enable managers and experts to shape their organisational values, work practices, and performances for the greater good of society.
Policymakers should support this thinking (Green Supply Chain) by not merely imposing environmental practices as regulatory norms but by emphasising on the creation of green supply chain-based learning systems in manufacturing.