Efficiency and Effectiveness
In production, smart decisions are required to arrive at profitable and sustainable outcomes

Production

The third step in the resource effectiveness transformation process is ‘Production’. The design phase largely determines the features and impact of products and services, but smart decisions in the production phase are required to arrive at profitable and sustainable outcomes: both efficient in terms of resource use, and effective, i.e. performing its function without harming the environment. These decisions need to be taken in five important areas.


Supply Chain Optimization
The first crucial decision is how to organize the supply chain: which suppliers to work with, where to establish production locations, and how to transport the goods to customers. Traditionally, these choices have been based on criteria like cost, time and quality, with relatively little regard for environmental impact. In a resource-constrained world, economic rationale and ecological logic are getting more aligned, so it makes economic sense to re-evaluate the supply chain configuration, to optimize both financial and environmental performance. Read more


Procurement
Individual consumers can exert significant influence on sustainability by ‘voting with their wallets’, i.e. by favoring relatively ‘green’ products over conventional ones. Similarly, companies can steer the sustainability performance of their suppliers through their procurement decisions. This is especially relevant if a large share of the environmental impact occurs ‘upstream’ in the value chain, or if the company employs a lot of subcontractors. Read more


Resource Efficiency
There is tremendous improvement potential in the way companies use natural resources (energy, water, materials). While most of the potential resides in the design phase, it must be complemented with smart decisions in the production phase, to capture the full benefits. Read more


Carbon Intensity
Emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases need to be reduced drastically to limit the impact of climate change. Agricultural companies have a big role to play in reducing the non-CO2 greenhouse gases, e.g. by limiting methane emissions from livestock, and reduction of N2O emissions from fertilizer use. CO2 emissions are predominantly caused by burning of fossil fuels for electricity generation, heating & cooling, and transport. The first step is to decrease the energy consumption through efficiency measures. The next step is to reduce the carbon intensity of the remaining energy requirements. Read more


Pollution Reduction
Environmental legislation is becoming tighter. To ensure continued compliance, companies need to limit or prevent emissions of pollutants to air, soil, and water, through state-of-the-art production technologies such as air filtration and wastewater treatment.