Staying lean and green

Sustainability has become a core business practice for many companies

March 18, 2011
by Purchasingb2b Staff


No longer a luxury, sustainability has become a core business practice for many companies.
That was the message from Kevin Brady, director of management consulting company Five Winds International, during the second-annual Lean & Green Supply Chain Strategies Summit, held in Toronto on January 19 and 20.
There’s a return on investment for companies that make their supply chain practices more environmentally friendly, Brady said.
“Small actions add up and can lead to some big savings,” he told the roughly 40 people at the event.
The summit touched on topics such as sustainable procurement strategies, cost cutting, eliminating waste and tips for organizations to reduce their carbon footprints.
For BMO Financial Group, no amount of savings is too small when reducing that footprint, said Pamela Schott, the company’s director of strategic sourcing. Schott and director of environmental sustainability Jim Johnston shared how the company reached carbon neutrality, net zero carbon emissions, by balancing carbon released with an equivalent amount offset, or buying carbon credits to match the difference. The company announced it had reached carbon neutrality last August 24.
In another case study, Norm Sneyd, vice-president of business development at Winnipeg-based Bison Transport, outlined how his company established a carbon credits trading program.
Sneyd discussed areas for reducing greenhouse emissions, such as equipment buying, training and education, multimodal transportation and policy.
“Reducing our emissions, cutting our fuel costs, being more efficient in the way we run our business—it’s a continuous journey, not a destination,” Sneyd said.