How Your Business Can Reduce its Carbon Footprint

How Your Business Can Reduce its Carbon Footprint by Forecasting for Future Demand

Cutting the carbon emissions of your company isn’t just good for the planet, it can also be good for the bottom line of your business. The same measures that reduce waste, boost recycling and decrease your energy demands will all ultimately boost your profits. Eliminating unnecessary manufacturing and transportation by accurately predicting future customer demand is a key strategy. Here are some tips on how to proceed.

Understand the lifecycle of your products

The majority of products go through the same lifecycle. Once the product has been introduced there is a ramp-up in demand as it begins to take off, followed by a period of stability and then followed by a decline as the technology used in the product becomes outdated. A graph depicting units sold over time for such a product would show a curve shaped like a hill.

However, research has shown that some products, specifically those in the tech world, do not experience a stable period and instead see demand follow a triangular curve, more reminiscent of a steep mountain, in which sales go up, reach a peak and then decline. Understanding which curve best suits your particular product can help reduce transportation and inventory costs which in turn can help cut your carbon emissions.

Optimize your software systems

The key to reducing the impact your business has on the environment is to have all the information about your current practices at your fingertips. Ensuring your software systems are fully integrated throughout your production processes and supply chains, providing you with information in real-time, is a good place to start.

If your business is already using SAP, the right portal application will allow you to both simplify your internal processes and drive up efficiencies. For example, Omnia from Weaveability can be used to view supplier scores and KPIs, enabling you to more easily determine those who may need to be asked to improve their performance or even replaced. You’ll also be able to view a wealth of historical data and forecasts for future demand, all of which can help reduce the number of unnecessary deliveries and help keep your carbon footprint to a minimum.

Clean up your supply chain

Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental credentials of the companies they purchase from and are increasingly unwilling to offer their support to those brands that fail to take sufficient steps to clean up their acts. Accurately forecasting future demand is crucial to reducing your carbon footprint as studies show that the supply chain of the average company can produce four times as many emissions as the company itself.

Embrace new technology

Knowing where and when customer demand is likely to fluctuate can open the door to using alternative delivery technology. A recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington found that, under circumstances, delivering packages with drones rather than trucks can reduce carbon emissions.

The longer the journey and the more items that have to be carried, the more climate-friendly trucks become, but when goods are being delivered close to where they are being warehoused and only a few recipients are involved, drones offer far more environmental benefits. Such a system works best with small, light packages as heavier goods require the drone to use additional energy to stay aloft, ultimately raising the level of carbon emissions required to charge the device.