Companies that are ahead of the sustainability curve are writing the game plan, cutting supply chain costs, avoiding risks and winning the public relations battles. A new paper titled “Why Sustainability Matters in Your Supply Chain,” written by Tompkins International and American Energy Solutions, provides a joint energy and supply chain perspective. This resource helps define sustainability, its drivers, supply chain implications and its future direction.

“Regardless of the political and regulatory environment, the push toward sustainability is not going away,” says Ritchie Priddy, sustainability director at American Energy Solutions and a co-author of the paper. “In fact, sustainability is entering a new phase that promises a broad impact on supply chains. It covers the entire organization on the demand side as well as the supply side.

” Effectively managing energy risks is the essence of sustainability. The paper notes that supply chain disclosure is rapidly becoming the most adopted measure around the world.

“Most companies have come to realize that the great majority of their emissions are not from their own operations, but rather from their suppliers’ operations,” Priddy adds.

There are real benefits to applying sustainable practices and being a good corporate citizen. Energy-efficiency upgrades are the single-most effective way to lower emissions, with side benefits including lower costs, better competitive positioning and positive public relations.

But are there really profit opportunities for organizations in sustainability? “Yes, from a supply chain perspective, reducing emissions almost always translates into lower costs,” says co-author Steve Simonson, a partner in supply chain consulting firm Tompkins International. “Optimizing distribution networks can reduce your carbon footprint and transportation costs at the same time—all leading to great profits and a competitive edge in the end.”

For more details about the key drivers of supply chain sustainability, as well as how to succeed in this new phase, download the paper at