What you need to know:
- When well executed, greening strategies lead to crop and livelihood diversification, improved soil health and better water management.
Businesses are increasingly going green due to the imperative of sustainability and environmental responsibility.
This imperative is fuelled by factors such as growing concern of climate change, public demand for eco-friendly products and services, and regulatory requirements for reducing carbon emissions.
Furthermore, businesses are recognising the long-term benefits of going green, including improved brand reputation, increased customer loyalty, and access to new market opportunities.
Any actions to reduce environmental impact and increase social and economic benefits gives an agribusiness a competitive advantage in the marketplace. There are many benefits to greening food supply chains.
Foremost, such actions reduce emissions of greenhouse gas and hence mitigate climate change by lowering carbon footprint of food production and consumption.
Greening strategies and efforts have potential to enhance resilience and adaptation to climate change.
When well executed, greening strategies lead to crop and livelihood diversification, improved soil health and better water management.
The above have the overall benefit of improved food availability, security and nutrition.
As mentioned earlier, consumers are becoming increasingly demanding for agribusinesses to be accountable for their carbon footprints. By greening its food supply chain, an agribusiness stands to enjoy better profitability and competitiveness.
This is likely to result from reducing costs of production in the long run, enhanced efficiency and productivity, and access to new and premium market opportunities.
By having a green supply chain, a business can enhance its reputation as an environmentally responsible organisation, thereby attracting environmentally conscious consumers and potentially improving brand loyalty.
With businesses increasingly being held accountable for their environmental impact, greening the supply chain has become an essential aspect of corporate responsibility.
There are several reasons why a business should consider implementing sustainable practices in its supply chain. An agribusiness that decides to adopt strategies for greening its supply chain can adopt several strategies.
Adhere to environmental compliance
Governments are increasingly becoming stricter with environmental regulations, and businesses that fail to comply are likely to face higher penalties in the future.
There is also the potential for reputational damage. Greening the supply chain has potential to reduce an agribusiness’ risk of facing legal and financial repercussions.
Raising awareness among consumers
Such education and awareness among the various supply chain participants not only generates action at individual level but helps to identify opportunities for joint action and innovations thereby leading to improved efficiency.
Promote sustainable agricultural practices
An agribusiness that understands how its raw materials are produced can aim to support its producers to practice greening practices.
Sustainable sourcing raw materials
This involves practices such as not cutting down forests to produce food, reducing energy consumption during production, transportation, and processing of the food product. They also include minimizing waste at production and processing stages.
Invest in energy-efficient production
Technologies such as solar powered drip irrigation systems, solar dryers, intensive AI driven crop production systems, and processes can reduce operational costs and lead to better use of water resources, while reusing and recycling materials not only lowers procurement expenses, but also lessen resource wastage.
Diversify resource base
Business should aim to explore varied sources of raw materials, energy sources, and production technologies.
This would enhance a business’ resilience by reducing its dependence on scarce resources and mitigating the impact of climate-related disruptions.
For any agribusiness that seeks to remain competitive, greening its supply chain is essential to align the business with evolving environmental expectations.
This has potential to reduce costs, enhance its reputation, and ensure long-term viability. By integrating sustainable practices into its supply chain, a business can position itself as an environmentally responsible entity while contributing to a more sustainable future.
Authored by Collins Apuoyo