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New Technologies and innovation in GSC

1. Information technology

IT has played an important role in successfully achieving a green supply chain and managing
it for long-term cost benefits. The inclusion of IT can transform a conventional supply chain
to a green supply chain by employing optimal resource allocation to run the business.
Resource optimization is enabled by effective planning, execution, and collaboration of the
supply chain through the use of intelligent software.

Transportation is planned in terms of delivering the goods and services in the most cost
effective method. The computerization of the transport planning also reduces the risk of
unanticipated events during the delivery process. Best practices regarding distribution have
been well materialized in the SCOR framework (GSC Management Software) by the supply
chain council. Companies like IBM has produced software tools based on the SCOR
framework, which are expected to increase the efficiency of the supply chain functions.
Additionally, IT tools can be used to analyse the effect of various supply chain configurations
imposes on the carbon footprint.

Asset tracking tools can optimize the resource usage during the supply chain execution while
maintaining the service levels at high. Waste reduction is one attribute in automated GSC
management systems as it purely operates paperless. This eliminates the need for printing,
storage and shipment of paper, giving the company a saving on maintaining its paper-based

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) labels carrying information related to energy footprint
can be used to track the asset’s parameters at different stages of the supply chain. IT can help
coordinate codes of conducts and environmental regulations, to monitor and evaluate
suppliers who have good carbon footprints. Supplier information management (SIM) tools
aid organizations to continuously audit the certification process in their supply chains by
documenting that suppliers avoid banned materials and production processes.

IT can help forecasting the resource consumption during the production with better accuracy;
hence the organizations can streamline planning and replenishment process to bring down the
environmental effects of the supply chain management. The right IT infrastructure for GSC
planning and execution can shape a powerful future.
2. Packaging engineering

Package redesigning for the purpose of optimizing raw materials has been observed as an
active engagement from food manufacturers. The redesign process has also improved the
logistic costs in some cases. Optimization tools enable this process to deliver cost-saving and
innovative packaging to deliver a smaller carbon footprint.

3. Materials substitution

This involves identifying substitutes which are environmental friendly, to replace

conventional material. For instance, a fastener made out of titanium has the same
performance while being less heavy compared to steel; all though titanium is costlier than
steel, it can offer significant durability than steel.

4. Optimizing logistics

Distribution facilities and warehouses play a very important role in supply chain
management. The strategic location of these facilities has a significant impact on the delivery
of goods and services by reducing LTL (less than truckload) small parcel and air freight
shipments. This gives an advantage in reducing the environmental footprint and also the
overall cost associated with the transport infrastructure.


Information Technology: A Green Supply Chain Enabler by Bisma Mennen', Javed Khad,
and Sanal Khurana'