In the business world, we all understand that the core of Supply-chain function is to ensure material movement from the point of origin to the point of consumption, in this process warehousing, transportation, inventory management are many logistics components, where CSR needs to play a very critical role.
Let me start by briefly talking about the most discussed buzzword, the concept behind the Triple Bottom Line that companies should focus as much on social and environmental issues as they do on profits. The TBL consists of three elements: Profit, People and, the Planet. Now, let’s also look at the most simplified explanation of supply-chain and corporate social responsibility, respectively.
On the other hand, as we all know Corporate Social Responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. So, it’s imperative to design our operations, with CSR in mind for sustainable business.
SCM is essentially the pivot around whom the whole business revolves and, CSR is the guiding factor to structure the businesses, with a long-term vision and, a win-win perspective. So, if you wish to have CSR implementation, you’ve to ensure that SCM is an integral part of this effort and exercise.
How do we achieve it, first and foremost, we must respect the human rights of people involved in our business, not only to our employees, everyone affected by our businesses throughout the business value chains. It goes without saying that, 100% strict statutory compliances is a primary discipline, so no child labour or forced labour, no inhuman work-environment, adherence to minimum wages, PF, ESI, gratuity policies – all compliances without any short-circuiting or compromises – this is towards taking care of “People” part.
Secondly, to take care of “Planet” in our limited but, non-negotiable manner, we must strive to preserve the environment, while building businesses. Business must be profitable and highly competitive but, not at the cost of the environment. Let’s stay focussed to minimize our environmental burden with initiatives that include, preventing climate change, reducing carbon emissions, and preserving biodiversity.
Each link of supply-chain such as vendors of raw-material, packaging material, transporters, plant operations, warehousing, distributors, Retailers, customers, if all commit to the development, supply & use of sustainable resources, based on reprocess, recycle and reusable principles, then we can certainly conserve our natural resources, such as energy, mineral, food, water, forest, marine and others. Under the strong influence of increasing competition, information technologies, globalization, the companies are trying to keep their up-right positioning in the market and to maintain a sustainable growth are increasingly adapting the CSR initiatives, which can be defined as companies’ voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns in their business processes and in their relationships with local people and, all other stakeholders.
Finally, let me speak about the biggest concern of most of the organizations that concern for People and Planet are all fine but, businesses are to make Profits first. Well, as companies successfully adopt social and environmental practices, they can achieve financial betterment, by reducing costs, increasing productivity and profits, enhancing corporate image and reputation. As today’s customers are becoming more and more aware towards their role & responsibility for a sustainable future and, better tomorrow for their children. They prefer to support organizations that are fair, law-abiding, and ethical in their outlook.
However, for supply chains to be successful in terms of their Corporate Social Responsibility, an organization and all its managers, need to increase their own awareness to act, in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Then only they will be able to influence all their respective stake-holders. They are obliged to comply with the environmental laws and regulations, to meet national and international standards and to integrate CSR practices in their business processes.
Adapting CSR-focussed management strategies will help organizations to develop future markets and customers. These changes are making the organizations to redesign, redefine and refine their operating processes & procedures to optimise available resources, from a long-term perspective. it’s not optional but mandatory for the SCM experts to better comprehend the importance of CSR applications and how they can implement those to support sustainable businesses, knowing well that, No Planet – No People – No Business – No Profit.
About the author:
(Dr) Sanjeev Kumar Khanna, Chief Operating Officer, Patanjali Ruchi Soya industries Ltd. (a Patanjali group company), is a certified & registered Independent Director, a certified Career and Life Coach, Ikigai coach, Thought Leader, awarded Honorary Doctorate for offering customized business solutions to multi-cultural and, diverse industries – FMCG, Automobile, Electronics, Fashion & Apparels, Logistics, Whole-sale, Retail & Online businesses, in providing strategic advisory to Board/Top management, on Business Excellence, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Development and, Corporate Responsible Sustainability.