LPR highlights the business advantages of a sustainable supply chain
How can corporate social responsibility (CSR) enhance rather than dilute a company’s competitive advantage? As Joe Hebblewhite of pallet pooling specialist LPR explains, good CSR is a win-win-win strategy. In the case of environmental sustainability policy, the first win is a reduction in costs. For example, a ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’ approach means you spend less on materials, while more efficient transport cuts fuel bills.
The second win is avoiding fines, and reputational damage, for breaking environmental regulations. Legislation is becoming stricter all the time, so why not make the necessary changes now and avoid a costly last-minute panic to comply?
Win three is an increase in income from happy customers and consumers. The buyers opinion of your company’s ethics now plays a big part in purchasing decisions. Over the next 10 to 15 years we will see huge global growth in consumer numbers and spending power, so get ready to make your company their ethical choice.
Similar arguments apply to other aspects of CSR, such as health and safety, business ethics, treatment of staff and your general contribution to society.
Link your sustainability efforts
A key driver for sustainability is the need to reduce CO2 emissions, as required by the 2015 Paris Agreement in particular. By 2050, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies must achieve a reduction of over 90 percent in their carbon intensity (greenhouse gas emissions per unit of output).
Importantly, sustainability should be considered across the whole supply chain, including all suppliers, energy providers and other partners involved in product manufacturing and distribution.
The environmental and social effects of a consumer company supply chain go way beyond the company’s own activities. They have been calculated to account, typically, for over 80 percent of consumer-goods-related greenhouse gas emissions and over 90 percent of the sector’s impact on air, land, water, biodiversity and geological resources.
If yours is a consumer business, you are in a strong position, through your purchasing power, to influence your suppliersí practices. But wherever you are in the chain, your CSR or lack of it affects others.
Pool resources for nature
As a large pallet pooling company, LPR has a central role in making its supply chain partnersí businesses greener and setting a good example. LPR’s CSR policies have a gold rating from EcoVadis, an organisation which assesses sustainability in global supply chains.
LPR recently undertook a carbon footprint audit of its European operations, helped by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). This evaluated greenhouse gas generation by activities including pallet production, transport, depot management and waste recycling.
Thanks to more rational transport, emissions from pallet pooling were 50 percent lower than those of other pallet management systems such as pallet exchange. LPR works with partners to reduce fuel consumption further by, for instance, merging deliveries and collections wherever possible.
For most purposes, LPR uses pallets made from wood, the only material with a zero carbon footprint. By contrast, the non-renewable, oil-based materials and high energy consumption involved in plastic pallet manufacture account for much higher emissions. Provided the timber comes from sustainably managed woodlands, you can be sure that the growing trees absorb as much greenhouse gas as the palletís wood emits in its lifecycle. LPR was one of the first pallet-pooling company to be certified by PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), guaranteeing the woodís sustainable origins.
Go green and win
With so many good business reasons for going green, now is the time to look at your own approach to CSR and choose responsible suppliers. It will improve your bottom line today and ensure you are well positioned to take advantage of the next decade’s expected consumer spending boom.