Green supply chain management: retail chains and consumer product goods–A Canadian perspective

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With increased consumer interest in environmental impacts, green supply chain management (GSCM) is becoming increasingly important for Canadian retailchains and consumer product goods (CPG) business partners. While the value of integrating environmentalthinking into distribution practices is rarely disputed, literature to date has been sparse in conveying tangibleevidence regarding performance and business benefits. For this reason, the Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada (SCL) and the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) have partnered with Industry Canada to review the important service business function of GSCM. This resulting report provides unique insights to help Canadian retail and consumer products supply chain executives understand the current trends and to recognize the benefits of adopting GSCM practices in distribution activities.

Key findings:

  • Retail chainFootnote I GSCM mandates bring business and environmental benefits to the entire consumerproducts supply chain.
  • Best-in-Class (BiC)Footnote II firms report improvements indistribution efficiency, service differentiation, cost reduction, and customer retention as a result ofadopting GSCM practices in distribution activities.
  • GSCM practices are strategically important for retail chains and CPG manufacturers, with implementation mainly driven by high transportation and energy cost coupled with the need to differentiate distribution services.
  • Many retail chains and CPG manufacturers are seeing improvements in energy usage, wastereduction, packaging reduction, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction in distributionactivities.

Approach and methodology

This report is based on a collaborative undertaking by SCLs research committee, RCC, and Industry Canada's Service Industries and Consumer Products Branch. The SCL research committee and the RCC defined industry needs, drivers, and metrics and offered valuable insights from an industry perspective. By using SCL's 2008 Green Supply Chain Survey (1165 business entitieswhich included more than 170 Canadian retail chains, 220 CPG manufacturers, and over 170 logistics and transportation service providers that serve CPG customers), and by applying unique economic models developed in-house, Industry Canada provided the overall analysis and brought together all the components needed to produce a Green Supply Chain Management report for Canada's Retail and Consumer Products sector.

This report is one of a series of three GSCM reports:

  • GSCM: Manufacturing — A Canadian Perspective;
  • GSCM: Logistics & Transportation Services — A Canadian Perspective; and
  • GSCM: Retail and Consumer Products Goods — A Canadian Perspective.


Footnote 1

Retail Chain refer to the aggregate of retail outlets that share a brand and central management.

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Footnote 2

Best-in-Class (BiC) businesses are defined as businesses that achieve positive environmental benefits in the two main sector-specific GSCM practices.

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