Sustainable supply chain management to enhance business growth: DHL white paper

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March 5, 2018: In a newly released white paper, DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has underscored the importance of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) and its various functional areas. 

The white paper was jointly developed by the Center for Advanced Sustainable Management of Cologne Business School and M3TRIX GmbH, a consultancy company for sustainable business transformation.

The report exemplifies how companies can unlock the full value of their supply chain, and gain a positive environmental impact by adopting an embedded sustainability model.

“A drive towards sustainability is happening now. We see evidence that taking decisions in the interest of sustainability provides a source of innovation, and growth for a lot of our customers and business partners. Stronger employee engagement is another upside as sustainability leadership instills a sense of pride and inspires employees,” said Angelos Orfanos, executive vice president global marketing & sales, DHL Global Forwarding.

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The report provides a roadmap of potential actions for businesses that want to intensify their environmentally friendly and socially responsible actions while increasing their economic success. 

The included case studies demonstrate how renowned companies have improved profitability and operational performance by implementing sustainable solutions.

According to SSCM, a sustainable approach to supply chains can help reduce costs, particularly in logistics, due to a reduction of transportation costs and reuse of products and materials. 

SSCM promotes replacement of the long-standing, linear ‘take, make, dispose’ production model with a circular ‘reduce, reuse, recycle, and return’ method, driving process and product innovation, thereby generating additional revenue streams.

Engaging in environmentally and socially responsible business practices helps strengthen ‘license to operate’, supports employer branding and improves a company’s image for the public and NGOs, while helping mitigate potential reputational risks.

“There is no doubt that there are strong ethical and environmental arguments in favor of sustainable business practices. Scientific and practical evidence now shows that following the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) approach also creates added value for businesses,” said Kathrin Brost, global head of GoGreen, DHL Global Forwarding.

“We found that cost and emissions reductions are not contradictory, but often complementary. At DHL Global Forwarding, and in the entire Deutsche Post DHL Group, we are confident that our commitment to sustainability, illustrated by our GoGreen program, will contribute to retention of our market leading position in the long-term,” said Kathrin.

The emerging field of SSCM, a development of traditional supply chain management, includes functional areas such as sustainable logistics, reverse logistics, sustainable supplier and vendor management, and internal sustainable operations management.

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