Materials Sourcing

Sustainable material sourcing goes beyond economic considerations to take into account different ethical, social and environmental factors too.

Basically, when you are getting raw materials for manufacturing any of your products, you must ensure that you are collecting them from a reliable and safe sustainable source. Besides the intrinsic factor of helping the environment, poorly sourced materials may cause your company to undergo increased scrutiny. There are a very few organizations who can claim that their supply chain is 100% sustainably sourced. Yet, there are some practices that can be implemented to ensure greater transparency and better results. In general, the companies having a sustainable material sourcing policy, draft it and publish it on their website to make it transparent.

Significance of sources and systems used to manufacture a product

The regulatory agencies, environmental groups and the consumers conscious of the environment always insist on the manufacturing companies telling them about the details of the sources and systems used in the manufacturing process. This is done in order to ensure that the product has minimal negative impact on endangered species, natural resources and local communities. Thus, a production company really needs to make sure that they maintain a vigilant watch over their product’s supply chain, because failing to do so will result in a horrible publicity just like the Volkswagen scandal. Moreover, there is a high risk of penalty issued by the government organizations too. Not only this but the consumer loyalty will be greatly decreased which means a setback to your business.

Significance of a reliable Supply chain verification process

The process by which safety, legality and responsible sourcing of the ingredients of any product are verified is called the supply chain verification process. It is complex but significant.

How to ensure raw materials come from sustainable sources

Now, how does a supply chain verification process be carried out by the companies? Basically, how can a company ensure that it is getting the raw materials from reliable sustainable sources? So, below mentioned are some of the points that will clarify the requirements of this process.

1-      Risk Analysis Phenomenon

A proper risk analysis should be carried out of the products that can be affected by the environmental issues such as paper / wood, fish, palm oil and beef sourcing.

2-      Use of technologies

The Forest Legality Alliance is a company which makes use of a brilliant technology with fiber analysis so that the illegally sourced fiber can be detected and tracked in the finished paper products. There sort of technologies such as the DNA testing or the satellite monitoring need to be implemented in the company setup so that it can trace a product from shelf to the land.

3-      Use of Life Cycle Assessment

There is another tool employed by the companies to know about the origin of raw materials gathered for their products which is the life cycle assessment (LCA). When LCA is performed with sufficient depth and proper concentration for the qualitative issues; the LCA can be used for gaining better understanding of the ecological and social issues that are involved in manufacturing of raw materials. The data acquired by LCA can be helpful for developing sustainable procurement policies. These policies are significant for promoting preservation and preventing the destruction of natural resources.

Impact of all the safe supply chain practices

So, by carrying out these safe and reliable supply chain verification processes we can expect a positive return on the supply chain and have a devoted focus on sustainable raw material cultivation. The complexity of supply chain is getting increasingly transparent which is the need of hour. The transparency between sourcing and finance function sets high level of trust and until that happens, the organizations are possibly going to miss out on getting maximum value for money.

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