Supply chain sustainability is the management of the environmental, social, and economic impacts, and the encouragement of good governance practices, throughout the the lifecycle of goods and services. In layman's terms, supply chain sustainability is what companies use in order to have a positive impact on the world by the use of good business practices. Businesses must understand that they are part of a large system and that they need to do their part to minimize cost (ie. natural resources). By minimizing cost a company can find ways to be more cost efficient in making their products or services and be less of a strain on the environment. To give an example a company's responsibility for their product does not just end once a consumer purchase the item, the company needs to make sure that after the product is sold it can be easily disposed of. Meaning that if the product doesn't make it all the way to a disposal facility, it can degrade in a natural environment without causing harm to it.
The Future Laboratory created a ranking system in 2008 for three levels of sustainability that a company can achieve. The ranking system is called the Three Tiers of Sustainability. Tier1: The Basis of Sustainability
This is the first level of the three tiers and the most basic. A company knows what the chains of sustainability are and do small things around the office/company to minimize their cost. Examples of this may be turning off lights and appliances that are not being used; recycling of paper, bottles, or other items that can be recycled; and company carpools between coworkers to save on gas and help the environment. Tier 2: Thinking Sustainability
The second level of the three tiers, is the stage where the company has an understanding of what supply chain sustainability is. A company begins to find ways to try to incorporate sustainability into their daily operations. Examples of this can be finding ways to be more eco friendly, better product designs,...