By now, most businesses are well aware that “going green” can help them make or save more of the green they’re most interested in: money. Sustainability is a win-win for the environment and for a business’s bottom line. If your goal is to incorporate sustainability into your supply chain, here’s a bit of great news: Reducing your environmental footprint and embracing sustainable practices need not be difficult or expensive. Here are a few ways to make your business more sustainable through supply chain integration.

Switch to Sustainable Energy

Energy is a big operating cost, and one that often comes with environmental expenses along with the direct dollars spent to power your business. When looking for a sustainable solution, there are alternatives to the standard energy grid. With solutions like gasifying material that can’t be recycled and turning it into steam energy or solar photovaltaic systems that pull power from the sun, your energy can be just as sustainable as the rest of your supply chain.

Green Your Packaging

Packaging made from recycled paper saves trees, water and electricity; reduces greenhouse gas emissions; and transforms tons of waste otherwise destined for landfills into useful products. Corrugated boxes made from recycled paper are sturdy, lightweight and eco-friendly. Switching from plastic or non-recycled paper to sustainable packaging is simple, inexpensive and a textbook example of incorporating sustainability into the supply chain.

Close the Loop

If you must use paper (for packaging, for example), sustainability calls for using recycled paper and then recycling the paper you do use. Often, though, you can eliminate paper simply by auditing your processes and procedures. In many areas, ranging from invoicing, to internal communications, to customs documentation and shipping manifests, you can seamlessly transition to paperless processes. Evaluate your paper-intensive processes and seek automated or electronic solutions. Ask, “Is it really necessary to print this out?” And if you still find your business using a lot of paper, close the loop and set up recycle bins throughout the office to ensure it’s kept out of the landfill. You’ll be surprised to discover that you can eliminate a huge volume of paper from your supply chain.

Switch Your Focus

Opportunities to incorporate sustainability vary from company to company. In some cases, companies can remove a toxic chemical from the supply chain and replace it with an eco-friendly alternative. In other cases, they can tweak their manufacturing processes to use less water. In all cases, sustainability begins the same way: by challenging the status quo and asking, “What can we do better?” The best way to achieve a more sustainable workplace is to encourage your team to think outside the box and identify opportunities to become more sustainable.

Embracing sustainable business practices that save resources is an efficient, profitable way to conduct business. Adopting sustainable practices ensures that finite natural resources we all rely on will continue to be available in the future, and secures a company’s reputation for being a conscientious global steward.

About Pratt Industries’ Integrated Supply Chain

Pratt Industries is widely known throughout the industry as a leading supplier of sustainable packaging and display solutions for companies large and small. Pratt’s commitment to the environment extends far beyond its pledge to produce 100% recycled paper and packaging. We have also invested heavily in clean energy production, including our waste-to-energy plant, operational at our Conyers HQ since 2009 and the rooftop solar photovoltaic system that was installed at our New York City box plant last year.