Sustainability, Supply Chain, and Social Media

Guest Author

March 16, 20203 min read

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This post was originally published on Jeff’s LinkedIn.

At the recent RILA LINK Conference in Dallas, there were many signs of innovation, progress, and the ongoing acceleration of Digital Transformation of Retail Supply Chains.

The key theme that resonated with me at the event was the growing importance of sustainability in all forms, as it relates to the retail business and retail supply chains in particular.

All of you who know me are aware of my long-standing passion for all things environmental – dating back to my early retail career at The Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1980s and 1990s.

From the sustainability perspective, the highlight for me of RILA LINK 2020 was definitely Chip Bergh’s keynote and calls for action around the Circular Economy.

Many don’t realize that in most companies 75% of their carbon footprint comes from their supply chain, so there’s no doubt when strategizing and attacking sustainability — supply chain has to be key in your efforts.

Chip Bergh, the CEO of Levi’s, has now in fact made sustainability a constraint on all innovation programs in order to help accelerate this key focus of the firm. It’s being driven directly by consumer demands for climate action.

One example of this is the way that Levi’s now manufactures jeans by using “waterless technology,” allowing the company to use 96% less water in its denim finishing process.

Additionally, the company previously used chemicals to give the jeans a worn-in look but now it’s using lasers instead. That also gives the potential for both postponement of these skus and also interesting on-demand personalization capabilities.

Sustainability is rapidly becoming the new black and as Supply Chain is a key enabler for attacking the 75% of carbon footprint found in supply chains, the role of supply chain professionals is therefore key in facilitating the move to sustainability.

How Social Media Drives Sustainability in the Supply Chain

Social media is key to activating supply chain professionals to accelerate the move to a circular economy and sustainability.

In order to reach as many supply chain and logistics professionals as possible means it’s key to identify, engage and leverage as many supply chain influencers as possible to get the word out.

Recently, Sprinklr used its influencer marketing capabilities to run an analysis including 19 social media data points and channels to identify the Most Connected in Supply Chain.

The below graphic shows the 5 Most Connected Individuals in Supply Chain.

After another interesting and successful RILA LINK Conference, there’s also no doubt in my mind that the Supply Chain teams of major retailers have a key role to play and perhaps RILA can help facilitate this mission.

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