Understanding markets and supply chains


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Support from ERDF Productivity and Capability Enhancement (PACE)

Sustainability and associated business opportunities

The environmental impact resulting from use of plastics, packaging, water and air pollution and the throw away economy is regularly in the news.

  • In some sectors, large companies may insist on their suppliers following sound environmental practices.
  • SME’s may independently choose to include environmental considerations in their procurement requirements.
  • Customers in some industries may be actively looking for products /services that satisfy environmental standards.

These topics may also give rise to new regulations and new opportunities.

Low Carbon Low Carbon

2-3 days support from a sector specialist

A PACE supply chain specialist can look for areas where your business could gain market advantage through improvements in its approach to environmental issues:

  • Carry out a study of business inputs and outputs with respect to energy usage, waste management, recyclability, re-usability etc.
  • Identify areas where products can be improved, waste can be reduced or reused,  and where new technologies and more efficient processes can be employed.
  • Identify any relevant regulations in force in relation to low carbon/eco issues
  • Identify the requirements of the target supply chain
  • Determine what the business focus is in relation to low carbon/eco issues beyond regulation (eg. save money, make money, ethical)

For example: 

  • Benchmarking a company’s processes and the associated waste can identify areas where more advanced automation may reduce the amount of waste produced leading to reduced costs, e.g. more efficient placement of components to be cut from fabric, pastry, pcb boards. 
  • Identifying ways in which ‘waste’ can be used, e.g. waste heat to warm the building, by-products turned into raw materials for other products. 
  • Using technology to improve communications between suppliers and customers so that quantities and quality can be optimised.