Why is it difficult to monitor the sustainability of an organization’s supply chain?

Many companies have begun to incorporate sustainability into their business models. However, one area that is particularly difficult for companies to tackle is greening their supply chains. This is in part due to the long value chain that most products travel through before reaching their final destination. This makes it difficult for businesses to track how their products are created, assembled, produced, and transportedand even harder to ensure that the entire process is sustainable.
However, one company that has seen success in this area is Japanese company Panasonic. Panasonic launched its Green Plan 2018 with the goal to become the world’s top green electronics business, tackling both its operations and the daily lives of its customers. Panasonic has implemented a recycling-based manufacturing process by which products are manufactured in a way that minimizes waste, reduces resource consumption, and maximizes materials to be reused. This approach allows materials from previously used electronics to be reused to create new products. Panasonic has also set up a special recycling facility to help in the implementation of its recycling-based manufacturing processallowing the company to have more control over its supply chain. In addition, engineers at this facility have designed new methods of creating products that are easier to disassemble, ultimately saving time, money, and energy.

Why is it difficult to monitor the sustainability of an organization’s supply chain?
What are some of the ways Panasonic has been able to “green” its supply chain?
Why do you think companies are trying to increase the sustainability of their operations and supply chains?

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