It comes at no surprise that the supply chain servicing the textile industry is anything but environmentally conscious. The nuanced complexities involved have increased the relevance of supply chain management companies while simultaneously sidelining ecofriendly initiatives.
Textile sustainability will increase following the strategic implementation of carbon emissions accountability, optimized production with limited waste (continuously measured on a granular scale), full transparency while sourcing origin of materials, detail-oriented supplier overview, and chemical contamination awareness at various points within the supply chain.
It’s one thing to agree on actions that should be integrated within the current supply chain, yet it’s an entire other situation to physically implement those actions.
Identifying the Wind Behind the Sustainable Supply Chain Sails
As with the adoption of any initiative warranting expedited changes to be made, several external influences weigh in on the high-level decision makers.
Normal and regulatory pressures, social pressures guised as cultural shifts, and pressures toeing the line of coercion all make up specific underlying forces driving the urgency for sustainability in the textile industry and throughout the entire fabric supply chain.
Regulations amend on a recurrent basis, but needing to comply on both a governmental and global scale forces your supply chain to adapt to the changes almost instantaneously. These particular pressures use external forces to drive the sustainability bus by leveraging regional regulations, governmental legislation, monetary compensation in the form of tax breaks or other financial benefits, notable certifications with high marketability, and other noteworthy industry related associations.
Consumer pressure can also be grouped within the normative pressures of sustainability. The target market carries a lot of weight when pushing back against unsustainable supply chains. More on this under social pressures detailed below.
All of the above combine to narrow the path of least resistance for companies looking to continue their success while coinciding with the global pressures of climate awareness.
Social pressures are more prevalent now, with environmental agendas, than ever before. A company must align with the predominance of their consumer ideologies to efficiently grow on a year-over-year basis. An overall increase in public awareness has been the driving force behind immediacy and can be traced back to various nonprofits, groups, social media, and press lanes filtering to mass-market news outlets. While the validity and accuracy of certain social outlets remain to be unseen, the facts remain and the general public is beginning to search for answers. They will begin seeking and supporting companies who are taking action and doing the same.
We will start to see the cultural shift from wasteful materials to reusable commodities, ecofriendly branded products, labeling, and other alterations more specific to manufacturers and suppliers with the same underlying sustainability mission.
Coercive pressures can easily be attributed to the intricacies within and around industry specific market conditions. Primary market factors can be broken down into the following groups: the shareholders, the suppliers, and the competition.
Competition can be singled out as one of the primary driving forces behind company initiative adoption. If your competition is making waves in the sustainability forum, you must immediately follow suit. Especially when dealing with issues surrounding climate change affecting scalability on a global level.
Shareholders or other notable investors can also have impactful input regarding sustainable initiatives. If the money backing your company presents ecofriendly implementations they want woven into the structure of the business, the only thing left to ask is the time allotted for proper integration.
Lastly, full transparency of material sourcing and supplier handling is essential to fully integrating sustainability on a measurable level. Comprehensive analytics, on a metric data scale, is the key to proof of initiative implementation. Being able to show carbon reduction, sustainable sourcing, and future initiatives all collectively immerse into the validity and legitimacy of your company’s promise and commitment to a more sustainable supply chain.
The Importance of Internal Compliance
Internal awareness of sustainability protocols being taken by your company is crucial to the success of all initiatives. “If the top management of the organization is convinced of future benefits, achieving sustainability throughout the supply chain becomes the priority, as top management is responsible for defining the vision and policies for the organization and communicating these policies to employees within the organization. Therefore, support from top management is considered a significant step in achieving supply chain sustainability.” [Excerpt from MDPI, Drivers of Sustainable Supply Chain Management: Identification and Classification]
Having a team that thoroughly understands the long-term implications of not implementing sustainable governance on the current supply chain is better fit to make the necessary changes sooner than later. This, after all, is the key to sustainability on a global scale. Begin implementing the changes now by integrating them into the infrastructure. With new procedural overviews in place, your company’s updated mission will begin to align with a greener, more eco-conscious enterprise.
If you have any specific questions on how to begin reducing your carbon footprint, or supply chain sustainability in general, email us here or give us a call today.
We are a cross-functional team of logistics experts, helping clients navigate areas of transportation, distribution, customs, and regulatory compliance. CLN’s focus is not on an individual product group or service offering but rather a comprehensive approach to effectively managing and optimizing the supply chain.