Like it or not, your business has to join the sustainability conversation—well, not just the conversation but the whole movement! Honestly, being eco-friendly is not just good for the planet—it’s also a smart business move. For the most part, this doesn’t have to be hard. Actually, the chances of you saving money from being more sustainable are extremely likely.

Thankfully, technology is here to help small businesses like yours make their supply chains greener without a hassle. Do you need to hire environmental consultants if tech (especially tech that has AI integrated) can help you get the job done faster and cheaper? 

Sometimes, you need to incorporate only the tech integration and nothing else regarding sustainability. It will all vary based on your business, the size, and the type of supply chain, but needless to say, you can become more sustainable and fairly easy, too. So, with that said, let’s explore some tech tools that can make your operations more sustainable and efficient.

Why Does Every Supply Chain Business Need to Focus More on Sustainability? 

It’s pretty clear that no matter the size of your supply chain business, getting serious about sustainability and cutting down on carbon emissions is crucial. Did you know that more than 11% of all global greenhouse gases come from the supply chain sector? Yep, you read that right, that much! That’s a hefty chunk, mainly due to transportation, which is a big part of what supply chain businesses deal with daily. 

So, why does this matter for your business? Well, aside from the obvious environmental reasons, there’s a growing push from both consumers and governments for companies to be more eco-friendly. This is your planet too, and you live here too, so you have to think about the environment’s health too, of course. Investing in green tech and practices isn’t just good karma—it’s smart business. 

You can expect to stay for the long haul while positively impacting the world. It’s a win-win!

Look into the Life Cycle Assessment

It’s a good idea to just start right here. LCA software is a bit of a newer concept, but it has been proven to be a great investment for businesses that want to focus more on sustainability and lower their emissions. This software looks at the environmental impact of your product from start to finish. You can see this software as a game changer by helping you see where you’re using the most resources or creating the most waste. 

With this insight, you can make smarter choices about producing and delivering your products more sustainably. It’s also a nice way to show your customers you’re serious about sustainability. It’s not very expensive, and if you’re serious about transforming your supply-chain business, you’ll have to do this. 

Embrace Cloud Computing

If you’re not doing this, then get to it ASAP! Seriously, you’re missing out by not doing this for your business.  It’s a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint. Moving to the cloud means you use less energy than running your servers. Do you really need your servers? 

Do you want to keep a team that does maintenance for them? It can get pretty costly. Instead, cloud providers manage data centers that are often more energy-efficient than a small business could achieve. This switch can also cut your energy bills, which is a bonus.

Go Digital with Paperless Process

While cloud computing means you won’t have to worry about servers anymore, paperless means no papers! How easy is that? Alright, when it comes to supply chain businesses, it seems like paper is the pinnacle of the whole industry, right? 

It’s not just about saving trees. When you switch to digital invoicing and electronic receipts, you cut down on waste and streamline your operation. Imagine how much quicker and easier tasks become when they’re digital. Plus, people usually complain about the sheer amount of paper there is. So it’s not just a sustainable benefit, but it does mean that your business is a bit quicker on its feet, too.

Are You Using GPS Tracking Yet?

If you’re not using GPS tracking yet, you’re doing something wrong since this is an expectation for supply chain businesses nowadays. This tech can sharpen your delivery routes, cutting down the miles your vehicles need. 

Plus, think of it this way: less fuel, fewer emissions, and quicker deliveries—it’s a win. You can quickly pivot around traffic jams or roadblocks with real-time data, saving even more time and fuel.

Consider Smart Sensors

So, how exactly could these even be beneficial for a business when it comes to focusing more on sustainability? How can this be eco-friendly? At the end of the day, it’s about making your warehouse operate more smoothly and effectively and making everyone’s jobs easier so nobody needs to scramble. 

These clever devices will do that exact job! They track inventory in real-time and help you monitor environmental conditions, reducing waste due to spoilage. They also ensure that you use energy only when necessary—think lights and heating that only turn on when necessary.

Energy Management Systems

This is similar to LCA, but at the same time, it is still different. So, energy management systems are becoming pretty common for smart homes now, but to a degree, this could be incorporated into your business, too. To put it simply, these systems help monitor and control energy usage across your operations, from warehouses to offices. You can see real-time data on where you use the most power and adjust accordingly. While sure, the initial investment is a bit much, in the long run, you can count on saving some money. 

Adopt Renewal Energy Resources

This is technically technological-based, so why not consider this too? It’s up to you how you’d want to do this, such as installing solar panels on your warehouse roofs or sourcing energy from wind farms; integrating renewable energy into your business can significantly reduce fossil fuel use. Again, just like with the energy management software, it will be fairly pricey initially, but it’s about the long-term for the planet and your wallet.