As per an article published on the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) website by Patrick Penfield of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the Green Sustainable Supply Chain can be defined as the process of using environmentally friendly inputs and transforming these inputs through change agents -- whose byproducts can improve, or be recycled within, the existing environment. This process develops outputs that can be reclaimed and re-used at the end of their life-cycle, thus creating a sustainable supply chain.
The idea behind a Green Supply Chain (or a Sustainable Supply Chain, or a Green Sustainable Supply Chain) is to reduce costs while improving the environment. Green Supply Chains, which are often based on Green Purchasing (or Environmentally Preferable Purchasing), offer a host of benefits to their owners, including strong brand image, customer satisfaction, reduced risk, cost reduction, and increased shareholder value. As such, they are valuable assets to their possessors.
Companies with green supply chains often have green operations. IT, Office suppliers, buildings and maintenance, transportation, food, energy, and manufacturing can all be greened with a little thought and a bit of elbow grease. The green purchasing wiki-paper offers a number of tips on how to identify software and systems, office suppliers, building improvements, transportation alternatives, food choices, energy sources, and manufacturing alternatives that are cost effective and environmentally friendly.
For some perspectives on green purchasing, green sourcing, and the green supply chain, refer to the following posts: