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One of Australia’s leading experts on corporate financial sustainability is alerting procurement and supply chain practitioners to the urgent need to lift their organisations’ priority for end to end efficiency within the supply chain. The potential for its positive impact on an enterprise’s ongoing profitability is not being realised.
The recently released 2011 Global Sustainability Readiness Index has highlighted how far behind Australian manufacturing, wholesale/retail and logistics companies are when compared against results from their global counterparts.
Speaking at the SMART Supply Chain Conference in Sydney, Trevor Barrows, principal consultant – sustainability at Fujitsu Australia Limited, said: “There has been much talk about what could be achieved at the supply chain level but what I’m seeing is that it is still viewed in silos and that an end to end approach has not been achieved by mainstream business in this country.
“Australia is a laggard compared with the rest of the world largely due to the fact that we have been insulated from the worst of the global financial crisis. We’re not pushing hard enough on the efficiency and waste management front. And the unhelpfully confusing political messages surrounding carbon pricing are not encouraging Australian companies to move on from business as usual.”
Barrows encourages supply chain management to act now so their companies are prepared for when the inevitable Australian carbon pricing scheme is introduced, or to be able to react to the next shift in the marketplace such as if the northern hemisphere returns to recession.
“Carbon will soon be another column in the balance sheet and it will provide a double win for smart operators. The cutting of waste from the supply chain reduces direct costs to the company and provides opportunities for rebates. But to qualify for a rebate you’ll need to create a baseline measurement now to show improvement,” Barrows said.
Fujitsu has introduced a downloadable Sustainability Self-Assessment Health Check to assist Australian companies to establish a baseline measurement for the development of an energy and environment management plan.
Supply chain professionals are being asked to become sustainability experts too. But Barrows says “don’t be bamboozled by Green. You are measured by how you manage costs. Whether its fuel use, vehicle optimisation or warehouse pick accuracy, it’s about making assets sweat better, using leaner approaches. Efficiency actions will show an overall reduction in carbon footprint for per thousand manufactured goods or per thousand kilometre vehicle travelled. Financial sustainability automatically leads to a reduction in your company’s environmental footprint.”
Download the Sustainability Self-Assessment Health Check here.