Episode 392: Unlocking the potential of a circular supply chain in the warehousing Industry

In this episode of the New Warehouse Podcast, we’re delighted to have Sneha Kumari, Head of Industry Trends at Circular Supply Chain Network, as our special guest. The Circular Supply Chain Network is an international community of self-proclaimed “circular supply chain geeks” committed to expediting the shift toward a more sustainable future. Emphasizing environmental conservation, social accountability, business growth, and innovation, the Circular Supply Chain Network educates, builds connections, and encourages innovative solutions in circular supply chains. Sneha’s expertise in the field makes her the perfect guest to explore this emerging trend in the supply chain world. In addition to explaining the circular supply chain and its relevance to the warehousing industry, she shares the concept’s practical implications.

What is the Circular Supply Chain Network and Its Objectives?

Sneha explains that her company fosters a community that promotes circularity and sustainable supply chains. They strive to build a world where both nature and businesses thrive! Sneha’s passion for sustainability and supply chain aligned perfectly with the network’s mission. The network aims to bring industry leaders and startups together through events, blogs, and collaborations to share their efforts in creating a circular economy. They provide a platform for these changemakers to showcase their work and inspire others to adopt ciular practices.

Differentiating Circularity from Sustainability

Sneha highlights the importance of distinguishing circularity from sustainability. While sustainability encompasses a broader range of goals, circularity is a specific approach within the sustainability framework. She emphasizes that sustainability should not be reduced to recycling alone, as it encompasses social and environmental aspects beyond the supply chain. Sneha believes circularity falls under the sustainability umbrella but focuses on transforming linear supply chains into circular ones. Circular supply chains aim to maximize resource use, reduce waste, and leverage secondary and renewable inputs to generate value. It’s about re-imagining the entire supply chain and adopting a circular mindset.

The Essence of Circular Supply Chain: Monetizing Waste and Maximizing Value

Sneha dives into the core principles of circular supply chains. She presents a striking statistic: only 8.5% of materials used in supply chains are secondary or renewable. This alarming figure showcases the need to transition from a linear supply chain to a circular one. Sneha draws an analogy of the Earth as a warehouse, emphasizing that we must stop depleting its resources without replenishing them. Circularity aims to monetize waste and give materials a second life, creating a continuous flow of value. This approach requires collaboration, partnerships, and innovative technology to ensure materials and operations can serve as inputs for subsequent stages in the supply chain.

Key Takeaways

  • Circular supply chains offer a viable solution to the inefficient use of resources and the environmental challenges of linear supply chains. Creating secondary materials marketplaces can help procurement managers source more sustainable materials.
  • Circularity should not be confused with sustainability, although it is a crucial component of the broader sustainability goals. Circular supply chains focus specifically on transforming the linear flow of materials into a circular and regenerative process.
  • The warehousing industry has a significant role in embracing sustainability. By optimizing operations, minimizing waste, and seeking opportunities for collaboration and resource recovery, warehouses can contribute to the circular economy while reducing their environmental impact.

The New Warehouse Podcast

EP 392: Unlocking the Potential of a Circular Supply Chain in the Warehousing Industry