Tips for Making Your Service Supply Chain More Sustainable

For Earth Day this year, we wanted to compile actionable, relevant advice from our team members that are attainable for pretty much any Service Supply Chain.
“What is one thing an organization’s Service Supply Chain can do to become more sustainable?” 
We encourage your team to examine each of these and work toward implementing them at your organization. Many of these will apply to any company, not just their Service Supply Chain.

  1. Expedite fewer parts. More specifically, don’t put them on an airplane and fly them when you could have put them on a ship, train, or truck. Moving a shipment from air to ground reduces carbon emissions by eight times! Optimization of service parts planning can help your sustainability efforts (and your budget).
  2. Reduce technician trips and return trips. This can run the gamut from remote diagnostics and repair to having to put a technician onsite more than once. When a technician has to visit your customer multiple times because the tech didn’t have a part or other necessary resource to facilitate the repair in one trip, you increase their use of gas, their emissions, and your customer’s frustration.
  3. Hone your reverse logistics skills. It’s essentially the return of service parts to their place of origin (often the manufacturer) for repair rather than scrapping them. Reverse logistics often saves significant money:  It’s less costly to fix something than to buy a brand new, complicated, expensive part. Read more on reverse logistics for the Service Supply Chain.
  4. Scrap responsibly. Hopefully, your organization is reusing as much material as possible. But there are some things that simply can’t be used again. Please ensure these things, especially those containing environmentally harmful products such as batteries, heavy metals, and more, are being properly disposed of or scrapped for other recycling. We don’t want them to end up in the ocean or seep into the groundwater. Use a recycler that can break down and reuse components, or see if materials can be donated to a local school for electronic training programs or even art projects.
  5. Forecast and stock material necessary to support sales and service. If it’s never built, it’ll never be thrown away. If we never build it in the first place, it never becomes obsolete scrap.
  6. Use the “GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard” or something similar. Report your greenhouse gas emissions and build an actionable strategy around scope 1, 2, and 3 to reduce their footprint year-over-year.
  7. Encourage your team members to follow UN Sustainable Development Goals. Your company may have something on its website about their commitment to these goals, but make sure each part of the organization is aware of their impact on achieving this mission.

Given the global importance of sustainability, as well as the focus on it among your partners, customers, and many consumers, here are some additional ways to go green in your organization’s offices:

  • Ensure the use of green cleaning processes.
  • Have any plumbing issues fixed immediately (leaky faucets waste a lot of water!).
  • Use recyclable and sustainable office equipment.
  • Recycle or donate outdated laptops and hardware.
  • Promote green approaches to remote work.
  • Consider in-office electricity use: Is it possible to add solar panels to your offices and warehouses?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask vendors about their electricity use as it relates to 3PLs, servers, and more.
  • Create a plan for all new technician trucks and vans to be electric.
  • Check out Compare Your Footprint for more.

Reducing emissions, keeping our waterways clean, maintaining biodiversity, and keeping our communities free of trash is up to all of us, so thanks for taking the time to read through our tips. We hope they help you foster a more sustainable Service Supply Chain. Now shut your laptop and go celebrate Earth Day with some good old fashioned “forest bathing” (or at least spend quality time with your favorite desk plant)!

Lindsey Rose
Marketing Director

Lindsey is a relatively new addition to the Baxter Planning team, running the company’s marketing activities like webinars, email communication, and you guessed it – the Baxter Planning Blog.

With more than eight years in B2B Marketing, Lindsey enjoys finding unique ways for a company to not only stand out, but to bring true benefit a company’s customers and the industry as a whole. She finds the Baxter Planning team especially amazing to work with because of the deep passion and knowledge held by the subject matter experts and everyone at the company.

Lindsey stays plenty busy outside of work, spending time with her husband and their two toddlers. They spend lots of time at playgrounds and going for walks with their dog.