Supply Chain Management for Environmental Improvement

Case Studies


Supplier Evaluation, Certification and Outreach

Case Study Title
Subject Summary
General Motors & Other Auto Manufacturers

General Motors Sets New Level of Environmental Performance for Suppliers; and

The Suppliers Partnership for the Environment Makes Recommendation to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation Council on a Chemical Material Assessment Strategy for North American Auto Industry

Environmental Management in Automotive Supply Chains: An Empirical Analysis (Greening the Supply Chain, Chapter 16, By Annette von Ahsen)

Requires supplier performance standards. Offers education and assistance, including packaging reduction and other opportunities.

Leading companies in the auto manufacturing and supply chain have been working together to enable innovation in automotive products through a common chemical assessment and management strategy in North America.

Wal Mart Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) By engaging its supply chain in the CDP process, Wal-Mart is encouraging suppliers to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately reduce the total carbon footprint of Wal-Mart’s indirect emissions.
adidas-Salomon Supply-Chain Management Monitors issues and performance of suppliers on social responsibility issues such as working hours, freedom of association, discrimination and child labor.  
Occidental Chemical Corporation OXYCHEM Contractor HES Program Evaluates health, environmental and safety performance to ensure suppliers meet the same standards that Oxychem sets for themselves.
Andersen Corporation Enhancing Supply Chain Performance with Environmental Cost Information Evaluates supplier EH&S performance.
Uses environmental managerial accounting in supply chain decisions.
Implements pollution prevention with help from suppliers.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Supply Chain Management (see pg. 21) Monitors performance of key suppliers, through a range of tools including surveys, reference checks, publicly available information, and site visits to conduct EHS assessments of third party manufacturers.
Intel Corporation Supplier Hub: Environmental Health, and Safety (EHS); and
Supplier Hub: Material Supplier EHS
Offers EH&S awards programs, EH&S requirements, contractual safety guidelines, and other supplier and contractor outreach efforts and information.
SC Johnson Wax SC Johnson Wax Develops Supplier Partnership Requires certain performance standards, and offers education and assistance.
Hewlett Packard Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility; and
(Excerpt from's) "How Supply Chain Management Practices Are Greening Procurement"
Expects suppliers to formally include health, safety, and labor and human rights practices in their performance standards.
Implemented polices on "Supply Chain Social and Environmental Policy" and "Supplier Code of Conduct"
Requires supplier contract and purchasing agreements to reflect our environmental and social expectations.
Communicates their compliance monitoring process.
Requires supplier performance reporting and corrective actions for non-compliance.
Assisted in developing a standard environmental questionnaire for use within the computer industry, to screen and evaluate suppliers.
Herman Miller (Excerpt from's) "How Supply Chain Management Practices Are Greening Procurement" Conducts initial (and annual follow-up) tours of suppliers' facilities to confirm environmental policies and performance.
Roche Vitamins Roche Vitamins Fortifies Its Environmental Commitment Offers education and assistance.
Published voluntary performance requirements for suppliers.
Compaq Computers (Excerpt from's) "How Supply Chain Management Practices Are Greening Procurement" Notifies and screens suppliers with pre-selection criteria for environmental performance.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Case Study Title
Subject Summary
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Spotlight on Government Massachusetts Advises Environmental Purchasers Requires suppliers to offer environmentally preferable products.
Bristol-Myers Squibb EHS Workshops for Procurement Staff (see pg.34) Educates internal procurers, on considering environmental costs of products rather than just the product cost.
Daimler Chrysler Environmental Rating of Material Content (see pg.32) Requires suppliers to disclose material content, then uses this information to rate suppliers for purchasing decisions.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Purchasing Power: Harnessing Institutional Procurement for People and the Planet (requires purchase) Educates internal procurers, on considering environmental costs of products rather than just the product cost.
Home Depot (& supplier Collinswood) Customer Focus Educated themselves and suppliers about forestry issues and became the first major U.S. home improvement retailer to offer certified sustainable wood products. See Certified Forest Products Council for information on certified forests and products, and certification systems.
The Gap,
Sustainable Forestry – Getting Down to Business Requires suppliers to use certified sustainable wood.
Herman Miller IBM, GSK, Herman Miller See Healthy ROI From Green Purchasing Office-furniture maker Herman Miller asked its suppliers to help them examine the environmental and health impact of materials in its Aeron chair.
Ford, GM and other automakers The Automobile Manufacturing Industry Requires ISO 14000 Offers awareness training and certification assistance to suppliers in meeting ISO standards.

Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing

Case Study Title
Subject Summary
Commonwealth Edison Enhancing Supply Chain Performance with Environmental Cost Information Uses life cycle management to improve supply chain management and other business processes.

Volvo Product's Environmental Information Provided to Customer; and,

Environmental Management

Provides customers with environmental information on products.

Volvo estimates that independent suppliers manufacture about 75% of the value of their cars - and therefore, requires suppliers to implement third party certified environmental management systems, and report materials and production weights, and comply with the conditions of the Restricted Substances Management Standard of Ford Motor Company.

Patagonia Outerwear with Minimal Environmental Impact (Chapter 10 of "Green Marketing" by Ottman - book for purchase) Works closely with suppliers to minimize all environmental impacts, including growing grown organically.
Clorox Clorox Efforts Trigger Comprehensive Savings Works with suppliers on new process developments to reduce wastes and inefficiencies.
Collins & Aikman Reducing VOCs in Carpet Products (see pg. 32) Worked with supplier to reduce VOCs through reformulation of raw materials.
Ben & Jerry's Ben & Jerry's ECO-Pint Packaging (see pg.33) Worked with suppliers to make chlorine-free packaging and reduce the amount of berry packaging.
Maytag Making Time To Find Less Waste Worked with a supplier on packaging reductions.
Royal Crest Dairy Royal Crest Dairy Moves To a Waste-Reducing Supplier Worked with supplier on methods to recycle packaging.
NACHI Technology Though Small, NACHI Technology Achieves Big Results Encouraged and worked with customer to reduce packaging.

Supplier Managed Services and Inventories

Case Study Title
Subject Summary
Bayer AG Vendor Managed Inventory Set up an online, web-based chemical management system and method for inventory management through various stages of the supply chain.
Johnson Controls, Inc. Johnson Controls Energy and Waste Management Outsourcing Solutions (see pg. 58) Offers energy management and other environmental services to customers.
Eli Lilly and Company Strategic Sourcing Saves $1M, Reduces Accidents; Compressed Gas Cylinders for Research Laboratories (see pg. 10) Supplier manages certain inventories, including compressed gas cylinders.

Intel Corporation

Cockpit: Decision Support Tool for Factory Operations and Supply Chain Management

Intel customers demand the ability to place and amend orders at will, require minimum inventory stock, just-in-time delivery, and order status visibility into the Intel supply line. These expectations drive internal demands for near real- time supply chain performance indicators, and the use of Intel's Cockpit tool.

Ashland Specialty Chemical Company Life Cycle Management as Business Opportunity (see pg. 28) Manages chemical inventories for customers, from purchase through production, and disposal.
Motorola, Inc. Motorola's Collaboration with Ashland Specialty Chemical Company (see pg. 55) Ashland Chemical manages chemical inventory for Motorola and offers alternative selection, optimized containers, and efficient logistics.
Saturn Saturn's Supply Chain Innovation: High-Value in After-Sales Service by Cohen, Cull, Lee, & Willen Supplier manages the inventory and shares inventory risks.
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) and Perrigo Supplier Manages Chemical Inventory (see pg.32) Supplier manages and tracks on-site chemical inventory.
Anheuser-Busch Reducing Packaging Waste for Inbound Materials (see pg.18) Supplier manages onsite storage/recycling of plastic banding. Anheuser also encourages suppliers to use reusable packaging.

Links to Additional Case Studies and Information

Case Studies from the Chemical Strategies Partnership, on supplier chemical management systems.

Case Studies from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Cost Reduction Through Supply Chain Greenhouse Gas Management. January 2009, by P. Paster. Environmental Leader.

Forging New Links- Enhancing Supply Chain Management Through Environmental Excellence. Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI).

Going Green Upstream: The Promise of Supply Chain Environmental Management. National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. (See Chapter 4 for case studies).

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative's Product and Supply Chain Initiative

Responsible Care is a global chemical industry initiative to safely handle products from inception in the research laboratory, through manufacture and distribution, to ultimate disposal, and to involve the public in decision-making processes. Among other protocols, the program includes basic codes of management practice that cover EHS concerns and Supply Chain Protocols for evaluating the EHS practices of carriers.

Supplier's Partnership for the Environment - An Innovative Partnership Between Auto Manufacturers, their Suppliers, and the U.S. EPA.

U.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) Program - Labeling Safer Products / Sustainability in the Supply Chain.

Continue Continue to the How Can Government Help Businesses Section

Back to Table of Contents Go Back to the Table of Contents