Supply – or value?
Reframing your supply chain as a value chain places an emphasis on the inherent value of the inputs and outputs of the economy. Since the Industrial Age, there has not been enough value placed on natural capital — the Earth’s natural resources — and externalities — unintended side-effects of an activity, like the bees of honey farmers pollinating plants (a positive externality) or water pollution from a dyeing facility (a negative externality).
Take a company such as a small software provider. Is the office building energy efficient, and using 100% renewable energy from a company which also generates it, like Ecotricity or Good Energy? The same question can be posed about any hosting services used. Is the company banking with an ethical bank like Triodos?
If a company is creating a physical product, how far back can you trace the component materials? What happens to the product after it’s sold? Do you offer repairs or for it to be returned to you when its life is at an end?
These questions might make you think about the circular economy, which has three principles: to design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; and regenerate natural systems.
Whether you are constructing a complete circular economy model for your business, or would simply like to make your value chain more sustainable, we can help.