The Global Environmental Management Initiative is developing a tool focused on supply chain sustainability and the procurement decision-making process.
The free, interactive online tool is intended to help companies prioritize supply chain processes and identify “hotspot” processes as well as opportunities for improvement, according to the green business alliance whose members include ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble and Southern Company, among others.
The GEMI Supply Chain Sustainability Tool (SCS) will be useful to sustainability and purchasing professionals and will link market-oriented sustainability claims, economic input-output (EIO) and life-cycle assessment (LCA) results, and supply chain sustainability performance metrics, GEMI’s chair Neville Dias says.
The project is supported by and conducted in partnership with the Northstar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise (NiSE) at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.
Smithfield Foods assistant vice president for environmental affairs Bill Gill, and 3M corporate sustainability manager Keith Miller are leading the development of the tool and serve co-chairs of the development process.
The new tool builds on GEMI’s two existing supply chain sustainability tools, New Paths to Business Value (2001) and Forging New Links (2004) and enhances supply chain transparency using a scalable platform to help guide sustainable procurement and sourcing, Gill says.
Miller says the GEMI SCS Tool will use a “top-down hotspot approach and bottom-up attributional LCA approach” to prioritize environmental issues within a firm’s supply chain. It will also assess the most relevant improvement opportunities of three to five commonly purchased product categories.
The platform can be expanded to include more product categories over time.
In February GEMI has updated its GEMI Local Water Tool and the GEMI LWT for Oil and Gas. GEMI initially launched the free tools in March 2012.
The tools are intended to help companies evaluate external impacts, business risks, opportunities and management plans related to water use and discharge at a specific site or operation. The GEMI LWT for Oil and Gas is customized for petroleum companies.