Nike gets more flies with honey

By Freddie Pierce
According to a new study, the farmer and the cowman really should be friends. The bitterly divided contest between environmentalists and supply chain m...

According to a new study, the farmer and the cowman really should be friends.

The bitterly divided contest between environmentalists and supply chain managers does not reflect the market reality, the research finds.  In point of fact, less wasteful practices tend to mean big savings down the line – and sometimes a whole lot sooner than you might think.

Why this is so, in managerial speak, has to with systemic risk from environmental degradation or disaster.  When you’re running a supply chain that has global scope, the chance that something could go wrong in one corner of the world and upset the balance gets a lot higher.

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Additionally, since many of the primary sources of cheap labor are in tropical climates, natural disasters can be endemic – especially to heavily exploited areas. 

Sophisticated modern supply chains set standards for quality and precision that can’t be met if a link in the chain falls away.  Information technology is particularly hard hit, with recent floods in Thailand washing through pristine sterile-conditioned factories. 

A dramatic market spike in solid state drives was the immediate result – just the kind of jagged stats supply chain managers try to smooth over.

Sustainable approaches aren’t just for the long term anymore; they’re indispensable to competitive business practices in the here and now.  Just ask Nike, which ranked in the study as a new market leader in forest-friendly supply chain management.

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