How to Green Up Your Supply Chain

Sometimes, you might question why you should make your supply chain greener. Sure, you can see the obvious benefit to the environment. But if it costs your company money, how will you remain competitive?

Fortunately, you can absolutely improve the green-friendliness of your supply chain. And you can cut your costs (or turn a profit) too.

Here’s some ideas to learn from to inspire your own initiatives at your company:

1. Container-Making Company Maersk Slashes Carbon Dioxide Emission

Can a container-making company actually be green? They get hammered in the media all the time. But, they make products essential to your lifestyle and the American economy.

In 2016, Maersk actually achieved a goal they wanted to accomplish in 2020: they reviewed 2,000 of their suppliers and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 25% for each container.

2. Toyota Does It Well All-Around

Toyota was named a Best Global Green Brand from 2010 – 2013.


They’re implementing a series of six challenges that will result in zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Their goal is to:

  • Manufacture cars that emit 90% less carbon dioxide by 2050
  • Eliminate the carbon dioxide emitted by their manufacturing processes
  • Switch to alternative energy sources
  • Minimize and optimize water usage
  • Create a system for using more recycled resources
  • Restore harmony with nature by planting trees and implementing other environmental initiatives

Now that’s about as green as you can get!

3. UPS

UPS believes the future of its business rests on its ability to meet demand, while also reducing environmental impact. They set a goal to drive one billion miles with alternative fuel by 2017 – and actually met this goal in 2016.

By 2025, they want 25% of their electricity use to come from renewable energy sources. By 2020, they want 1 in 4 of their new vehicles to operate entirely on alternative fuel. 40% of all ground fuel use will also be from sources that don’t include gas or diesel.

When you consider the size of their 8,300-vehicle fleet, that’s significant energy savings!

So, what did you learn? You may be able to directly implement some of these practices in your own supply chain.

And maybe not.

Perhaps instead these examples merely serve to inspire your thinking. Regardless, you now have more tools for environmental friendliness at your disposal.