Monday, November 21, 2016

New Publication Instructs on the Importance of Rethinking Supply Chains

Handbook Looks at the 'Circular Economy' and How to Implement It
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – Anyone who reads trade press articles regularly, freight related or otherwise, will know the predilection of writers for the latest ‘buzzwords’. Amongst the ‘linears, verticals and portcentrical’s’ however one sometimes discovers a term which precisely describes something of great importance. Such is it with the phrase ‘circular economy’ which has real value in that it is a process which all should aspire to and something which has now has been covered in depth in a new publication aimed at all those in the supply chain.

A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains’ addresses the holistic framework required to break the current cycle of design, manufacture, dispose of, something the author points out is simply not fit for purpose. Our throwaway economy needs adaptation, from a manufacturing process where a small part of what is produced is recycled, to a ground upward rethink to ensure everything produced has been prepared in the best way possible to ensure all stages, product design, sourcing and procurement and manufacturing are optimised.

A report from the European Commission published this month identifies regulatory obstacles to Europe adopting a circular economy model, among them growing concerns for recycling targets based on weight and not quality. It also outlines unlocked opportunities in economic activities and value chains as the cause for this lack of preparedness. The handbook offers examples of real life case studies as to the implementation of procedures designed to identify steps in a product’s life cycle that can be exploited and reused. Much like waste management, the crux of the circular economy is determining how to use a product, service or process more than once at every stage of its cycle. Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business for Marks and Spencer, praised the book for its ability to ‘[unpick] why we need to build a circular economy and, crucially, complements this analysis to explain how we can do this’.

The handbook can be pre-ordered here and will be available from 3 December and has been written by Catherine Weetman, who holds an MSc in Logistics and Distribution from Cranfield University and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation (CILT), UK and Vice-Chair of its Environment and Sustainability Forum.