Today’s companies face the challenge of implementing environmentally sound operational practices while balancing growth and opportunity in what is clearly the most demanding business climate in decades.
The urgency of these issues sat top of mind among the attendees at the Green Supply Chain Forum held February 19-20, 2009, and hosted by the College of Business Administration and the college’s Ryder Center for Supply Chain Management.
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According to Walfried Lassar, Ryder Professor and director of the Ryder Center, the forum drew more than 120 participants from the southeast, southwest, and northeast regions of the United States. Coming from Fortune 500 companies, smaller entrepreneurial companies, and government agencies, the attendees represented a wide range of industries with roles and responsibilities cutting across all aspects of supply chain management—including consulting, procurement, inventory, and logistics.
“This year’s Green Supply Chain Forum proved successful on multiple fronts,” Lassar said. “For one thing, our agenda resonated well with the forum participants. Also, amid this time of corporate budget and travel cutbacks, it was encouraging to see so many attendees able to join the event. I think that underscores the relevance of our topic. What’s more, the forum gave us an opportunity to expand the college’s national footprint while showcasing our world-class conference facilities.”
Keynote address outlines vision for green supply chain sustainability version 2.0.
When it comes to green supply chain sustainability, the rehearsal has ended. It’s time to get down to business. This was a key tenet of the keynote address that Stephen Stokes, consultant with AMR Research, delivered on day one of the Green Supply Chain Forum.
Stokes also discussed the need to decouple dirty energy from growth and profitability, emphasizing how sustainability can be achieved through green energy, and highlighting the importance of having the right benchmarks and metrics in place to demonstrate bottom-line benefits.
Workshops offer hands-on deep dive into real-world scenarios.
The second day of the forum featured three workshops open to both registered attendees and interested supply chain management students. Topics ranged from building a sustainable supply chain management strategy, to creating a green supplier verification program, to carbon footprint modeling and calculation.
“We received tremendously positive feedback from workshop participants,” Lassar said. “They learned best practices from consultants from leading companies such as AT Kearney, KPMG, Nike Corporation, and Stonyfield Farm, and left with practical tools they can use within their own organizations. Our plan is to increase the depth of these workshops for next year’s forum.”