Strategies for a Sustainable Supply Chain

Strategies for a Sustainable Supply Chain


Is your supply chain sustainable? Are you looking for more information on strategies to improve in this area?

At APICS Greater Detroit our mission is to foster the advancement of end-to-end supply chain management through the sharing of best practices through our expert body of knowledge, innovative research and systems for our local supply chain community.

Below we share strategies for supply chain sustainability used by a Detroit area global automotive manufacturer.

Ford Motor Company, Inc has been reporting on their sustainability efforts for twenty years. In their most recent Sustainability Report, on pages 42-43 they shared their strategies and results for minimizing their supply chain impact. We’ve summarized these for you below.

As many of our readers know, the automotive industry is complex. Ford alone relies on thousands of suppliers to provide the materials, components and services to make their vehicles. Ford implements the following supply chain sustainability strategies that are making a difference not only for their company, but for the automotive industry as a whole.

  1. Sharing Best Practices. Ford actively shares best practices with their suppliers to help them lower their costs, improve quality and meet sustainability targets. They work closely with suppliers to build capacity and ensure sourcing transparency. Ford’s supply chain sustainability initiative is named PACE and was developed to reduce the overall environmental impact of Ford and their supply chain partners. PACE enables Ford to share the best practice examples implemented with 50 strategic suppliers so that they can be replicated. They also encourage their suppliers to cascade the best practices down their own supply chains.
  2. Understand Suppliers Impact and Engaging. Ford also helps suppliers reduce their environmental footprint while ensuring social standards are upheld. They do this by engaging with key strategic suppliers through their Aligned Business Framework (ABF). This dialogue helps to drive quality and innovation, identify operational synergies and encourage collaboration in areas such as ethical business practices, working conditions and responsible sourcing. To manage sustainability issues with these ABF suppliers: — Ford verifies that the supplier has a code of conduct that aligns with our own Policy Letter 24 — The supplier provides internal training to ensure its employees understand and comply with the code of conduct – Ford validates their processes to ensure ongoing alignment — The supplier also verifies that its own suppliers are compliant with our shared standards and expectations.
  3. Collaborating With Industry Partners. To amplify their efforts and encourage alignment throughout the automotive supply chain, Ford participates in several industry forums including AIAG’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group and Greenhouse Gas Work Group, Environmental Science Work Group at the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), and Suppliers Partnership for the Environment – a collaboration among automotive OEMs, their suppliers and the U.S. EPA.

Ford’s efforts are having an impact per their report, suppliers that are integrating climate change into their business strategy has increased from 81% in 2017 to 84% in 2018. Suppliers reporting a water-related target or goal has increased from 69% in 2017 to 81% in 2018. Also, suppliers reporting an emissions reduction target or goal has increased from 66% in 2017 to 73% in 2018.

Looking to advance your career, earn more, and help your company grow?

Check out our upcoming globally recognized certification classes below!
  • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution) starting on January 11th. CLTD helps participants demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics, setting them apart from peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners with a CLTD certification.
  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) – starting on January 22nd. CSCP is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.
  • CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) – starting on January 18th. The perfect certification for production and inventory management personnel. CPIM provides you with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations.

APICS Greater Detroit chapter members receive discounts on all certification classes – click here to join today. We look forward to helping you in your career!

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