The Many Shades
Greening your business may be easier than you think…but how green? Well, that’s another story.
By Darrin Duber-Smith, MS, MBA, Contributing Writer
Gregory Black, PhD, Contributing Writer
By now, ingredient suppliers should be well aware of the proliferation of natural and or- ganic products and the requisite impact this social trend has had on business in general. The concept
of “derived demand” has forced organizations all the
way up the supply chain to alter their product offerings and address this industry shift.
Several astute suppliers listened to market experts and recognized this paradigm shift early, earning first-mover advantages as somewhat “exclusive”
providers of these ingredients. Today most suppliers
have realized that high growth rates at the retail level often mean the same thing upstream in the supply
chain and so offer natural and certified organic ingredients to their finished goods customers.
But wait! Demand for products that are perceived
to be better for consumers and for the environment
does not stop at the ingredients themselves. Sus-
tainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) are the new order of the day, as all members
of supply chains across multiple industries are under increasing pressure to comprehensively “green”
their business practices. And, there are many factors aside from consumer preferences driving this
trend. Lowered costs, competitive pressures, increased government regulation, global pressures,
supply chain demands, and enhancing brand image
are just a few of these (sometimes known as the
So where does a company begin? How can it ensure and communicate authenticity with regard to
these important initiatives? These questions can vex
even the savviest of decision makers. Is it easy being
green? Is it not so easy to be green? With all due respect to Kermit the Frog, sustainability initiatives are
actually fairly easy to plan and implement.