Before going into this class I did not have much knowledge on supply chain management. In the last three days I have learned lots about sustainability and how it pertains to supply chain management. It is fascinating to learn about how sustainability comes into play within the supply chain and how many companies are aiming to become more green. Throughout class discussions, readings, and a special guest speaker Rania Assariotaki who is a senior sustainability manager at the American College of Greece, I have been able to further understand the importance of a green supply chain and the different ways to do so.
There are lots of concepts that I have been introduced to within green supply chain management, one of those being greenwashing. The first thought that popped into my head when hearing it was brainwashing, and I was pretty spot on with that. Greenwashing is when a company falsely advertises or makes misleading statements of having a green/sustainable practice or product. Although I am not entirely shocked this happens, it is very sad to hear that companies do this to attract customers to their products instead of truly valuing sustainability. Now that I am aware of “greenwashing,” I know to conduct my own research on a brand to see whether it is truly sustainable, as well as perhaps doing my own research on the things I use every day that are marketed as “clean,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or “sustainable.”
A concept that I knew pertaining to sustainability that I learned my first year at CofC are the three P’s: Profit, People, Planet. When this topic was covered in class, we learned that not all businesses prioritize the three Ps equally and are primarily concerned with maximizing profits. Although hearing this is distressing, there are a lot of positive developments that point toward a greener future, and in class, we have spoken about what is being done and how to proceed. A circular economy, commonly referred to as a close loop economy, is one approach. All actions and procedures that reduce, repurpose, and recycle resources throughout the production, logistics, and consuming processes are included in the circular economy. Reusing packaging is one example of a circular economy since it reduces waste and lowers the cost of purchasing new packaging. I also learned about the linear economy, which uses production processes and other transformations to turn natural resources into waste.
As this class moves forward I am sure I will learn more about the green supply chain and be able to apply what I have learned to my daily life as well as my future career.