DHL white paper shows resource efficient supply chain is an untapped opportunity


A white paper that was commissioned by DHL has shown that the environmental supply chain can capture value and drive topline revenue.

Produced by lharrington group president Lisa Harrington for DHL, Closing the Loop: Building the Environmental Supply Chain shows that it makes sense for businesses to think differently about their supply chains and the ‘costs’ attached to going green.


The paper argues that best practice businesses such as P&G which recently reported nearly $1 billion cost savings from an environmental supply chain, no longer perceive sustainability as a cost, but recognise it as an opportunity to create value.

Lisa Harrington said: “A great shift in attitudes is currently underway across industries. Gone are the old and dated misconceptions that ‘green’ means higher costs. Where the environmental supply chain model is executed correctly, companies are capitalising on increase revenue and social kudos from customers, while also ensuring their business is operating in line with necessary compliance measures.

“The recipe for success is to get the four principles right. These are reduce, reuse, recycle and recapture. Reduction is all about eliminating waste by injecting efficiency, reusing involves product refurbishment, while recycling is ensuring that your waste becomes opportunity. Recapturing is the process of breaking down end-of-life products to harvest residual value such as precious metals.”

In the white paper, solutions are identified that will enable companies to realise these four principles.

It includes having a Lead Environmental Partner (LEP) that fulfils a control tower role by monitoring the forward and reverse flows of the supply chain to identify opportunities that make environmental and economic sense.

The next solution is the closed loop supply chain management approacnstratig which integrates waste recycling, value recovery and environmental protection through an LEP that manages collection, sortation and recycling streams.

Finally, the LEP provides visibility through its detailed carbon reporting that allows progress tracking better management.

DHL Supply Chain vice president Envirosolutions Chris Jackson said: “The environmental supply chain has fast become an opportunity and necessity for companies.

“Companies demonstrating best practice are driving down costs and saving millions while also ensuring their business is up to the standard of modern compliance measures which can potentially incur damages if not.

“LEPs help make the cost savings even greater with their ability to act as a single vendor for a company’s waste management, ensuring the best recyclable rates are achieved and the process is simplified as much as possible.

“For example, the integrated partner approach is now at the forefront of waste management with companies receiving their shipments and having their recyclable waste collected by the same vehicle. Having a partner that can fulfil this role saves companies hundreds of thousands in landfill tax savings and reduces carbon emissions significantly as well.”

The full white paper can be viewed at