A supply chain green with envy (and cash)
By Rich Kroes of Oracle
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Driven by country-specific regulatory mandates as well as increasing stakeholder requests for voluntary reporting, organizations are under mounting pressure to provide energy usage and emissions data reporting. For example, regional regulatory mandates, such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) in the United Kingdom and Australia’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act, require accurate and transparent greenhouse gas reporting.
In addition, information voluntarily disclosed to organizations, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), needs to be provided with a high degree of confidence in order to protect an organization’s credibility and brand.
ORACLE'S ANDREW SPENCE ON SUSTAINABILITY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Regulations and stakeholder demands aside, measuring environmental performance and setting targets can play a key role in helping organizations become more productive, more profitable and more sustainable. Monitoring key metrics, including energy consumption, waste and water usage leads to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, operational efficiency improvements and cost savings. When armed with factual data, organizations can significantly reduce their environmental impact by benchmarking sustainability metrics, setting best practices and affecting behavioral change.
Considering that 75 percent of an organizations’ carbon footprint comes from its supply chain, it is often the first place organizations look when seeking to reduce their environmental impact and drive cost efficiencies. However, many are struggling to determine their approach for monitoring sustainability in increasingly complex global supply chains, often relying on multiple, fragmented systems that are manual, error-prone and lack actionable business data.
More challenging, supply chains are often old-fashioned, restricted and lacking in innovation. This means that few companies have full visibility into what suppliers, customers or haulers are doing, and therefore struggle to implement strategies that would take waste out of their supply chains.
In the quest to incorporate sustainability best practices into the supply chain, innovation will come from a range of sources, but real progress will only be achieved through a collaborative approach. Collaboration enables organization to efficiently create and capture a common set of sustainability metrics that can be shared across the entire supply chain. However, many decision-makers within the industry see data sharing in a negative light, as they believe that it could pose a risk to their competitive edge. The irony is that in the case of corporate sustainability, the opposite is true.
So where to begin? Collaboration begins by sharing logistics data. With free-flowing, standards-based data on tap, organizations can better predict waste throughout the supply chain and identify opportunities for joint value creation. Only by openly sharing data and knowledge will every aspect of the supply chain – from buyer, to hauler, to supplier and their suppliers – be able to drive efficiency.
But the benefits of collaboration extend even further. Why should half-empty trucks pass each other on the way to the same destinations? Why should consumers wait for three trucks to deliver their online orders when one could do the job? Advanced collaboration such as shared distribution can solve these problems and reduce environmental impact.
In many cases, the greening of the supply chain puts pressure on partners to not only reduce packaging and resource consumption, but also to measure and communicate those reductions. This pressure is increased by new regulations around hazardous substances that require partners to stay below specified thresholds, for example. If seen as an opportunity, the new environmental and legislative demands present partners with emerging opportunities to reduce cost and differentiate, thus increasing their potential contribution to the value chain.
By bringing organizations in a network closer together, corporate sustainability best practices ensure that critical information is shared, improving visibility and providing an assurance of performance up and down the supply chain. Whether it is via cross-sector monitoring systems to track carbon emissions in real-time, or software that allows standards-based data to be shared free of charge in order to improve the efficiency of networks, tomorrow’s supply chains will be characterized by free-flowing information and collaborative networking.
In today’s business environment, there is no doubt that environmental and sustainability practices need to be embedded in all aspects of an organization’s operations. This includes sourcing sustainable materials, producing and shipping products in a sustainable way, reducing the energy consumption of products and managing the waste and recycling at all stages of the product development. Organizations that run lean and green can be more productive, more profitable and less polluting.
Rich Kroes is the Director of Product Strategy for Oracle’s Sustainability Applications
SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers
The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.
As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network.
Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"
Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window.
“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”
To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time.
Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”
About Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution.
Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors.