The constant flow of raw materials, energy, and food along the supply chain is what keeps modern civilization going. Yet over 90 percent of the impacts on the air, soil, and land caused by consumer products is due to the supply chain. Over 80 percent of a consumer company’s greenhouse gas emissions also come from its supply chain. The harvesting of resources, the inefficient use of those resources, and the waste products entering the environment at the end of the supply chain are degrading the natural world.
Eventually, the waste, pollution, and resource depletion caused by supply chain operations will put the livelihoods and the lives of those billions of people it supports at risk. However, as MIT faculty member Peter Senge told the Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is what companies do best.” Businesses need to develop creative, innovative solutions in response to the challenge of sustainable supply chain management.