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Welcome to the Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation (SSCF).

The SSCF funds and conducts research related to sustainability in global and domestic supply chains. It works to identify, assess and contribute to standards, metrics, best practices and emerging technologies that advance sustainability in every aspect of supply chain management.

What is sustainable supply chain management?

Sustainable supply chain management involves integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the complete supply chain lifecycle, from product design and development, to material selection, (including raw material extraction or agricultural production), manufacturing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, consumption, return and disposal. Environmentally sustainable supply chain management and practices can assist organizations in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimizing their end-to-end operations to achieve greater cost savings and profitability. All supply chains can be optimized using sustainable practices.

Sustainability in the supply chain encapsulates a number of different priorities:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Conservation of resources
  • Reduction of carbon footprint
  • Financial savings and viability
  • Social responsibility

Supply chain sustainability practices, in order to succeed, must deliver improved environmental performance within a financially viable operating construct.

Why a 'sustainable supply chain?'

"Even though we were the first manufacturer in America to offset 100% of the CO2 emissions from our manufacturing plants, these incredible offsets amounted to a rounding error in terms of our total carbon footprint. We realized that our supply chain — what’s coming in and going out of our plant — represents 80% to 90% of our total carbon footprint. So despite the great things we did in our plant, unless we tackled our supply chain’s carbon footprint, we were nowhere." —Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO, Stonyfield Farms

It is clear that, supply chains, for most organizations, have a far greater impact on the environment than any other part of their operations. While most corporate and public focus has been on the sustainable profile of a product, (i.e. its source and whether it is recyclable), there is a need to spotlight and to understand the sustainability issues related to the transportation and distribution of those products.

Beyond the obvious benefits of reducing overall carbon footprint, and reducing energy and resource consumption, there are many other reasons why organizations should care about sustainability in their supply chains:

  • Better bottom line — research and experience has proven that sustainability significantly improves financial results.
  • Consumers and Wall Street recognize the importance of green practices and sustainability -- which more and more drives increased sales and share valuation.
  • Governmental initiatives in the United States and elsewhere provide tax and investment incentives to companies that employ sustainable practices. In a growing number of regions of the world, sustainable practices are governmentally mandated as law. This trend is escalating rapidly.
  • Sustainability is equated with corporate social responsibility and stewardship – with being a good global citizen. The positive public relations exposure from identifying and implementing sustainable supply chain practices can yield numerous benefits for companies.
  • Suppliers and corporate customers are increasingly requiring sustainable practices of their vendors.
  • The elimination of waste in the supply chain is a hallmark of sustainability.

Quick News

Posted September 16, 2014

Director Richard Bank delivered a presentation on Sustainability and Energy Savings in the Logistics Industry, focusing on warehouse operations, at the 2014 Biennial Workshop in the Program on Energy-Aware Operations in Manufacturing and Service Enterprises organized by Penn State University and the National Science Foundation. The conference program targeted sustainability and energy issues in building operations, logistics operations, the power grid and factory operations.
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Posted August 4, 2014

Richard Bank, Director of the SSCF, gave a presentation on Sustainable Supply Chain Management on August 4, 2014 at the Corporate Environmental Forum Meeting organized by ORCHSE Strategies, LLC in Washington, DC.
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Posted June 12, 2014

Richard Bank presents at the 12th Annual North American 3PL Summit and Chief Supply Chain Officer Forum.
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Posted January 27, 2014

Richard Bank, Director, Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation supplies an update on the organization's efforts to instill voluntary standards for sustainability in the warehouse, as well as other logistics processes.
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Posted September 17, 2013

SSCF Director Richard Bank presented a paper drafted with the assistance with Richard Murphy of Murphy Warehouses, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Dr. Serm Kulvatunyou of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) entitled Warehousing Sustainability Standards Development at Penn State’s International Advances in Production Management Systems Conference on September 12, 2013.
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Posted May 21, 2013

The Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation (SSCF) is pleased to announced that Christina Boulineaux will be joining The Foundation as an Intern on June 1. A 2010 graduate of the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, Christina will be entering her junior year at the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland in September.
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Posted March 28, 2013

SSCF Director Richard Bank will be moderating a panel on the Sustainable Supply Chain - Environmentally Conscious Growth at the Eyefortransport 11th North American 3PL Summit in Chicago. which will be held June 18-20.
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Posted March 28, 2013

On April 16, SSCCF Director Richard Bank will be addressing the Spring Conference of the Canadian Council of the International Logistics Warehouse Association in Toronto, Ontario.
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Posted March 12, 2013

Professor Rachelle C. Sampson, Ph.D of the University of Maryland Smith School of Business joins the SSCF Advisory Board.
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Posted February 21, 2013

Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation ( SSCF) Director Richard Bank, and Richard Murphy, President and CEO of Murphy Warehouse, and Chair of the Sustainability Committee of the International Warehouse Logistics Association, will be giving a presentation on February 27 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The presentation will describe the role of warehouses in addressing sustainability issues and the Sustainable Logistics Initiative (SLI) of the IWLA, which Is monitored and verified by the SSCF. NIST, which is part of the US Department of Commerce, and the SSCF are in discussions as to how NIST and the industry can improve supply chain logistics sustainability performance via standards and metrics.

Posted February 20, 2013

ALAN Receives Support from Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation
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Posted January 31, 2013

SSCF Director Richard Bank will deliver a presentation on supply chain and logistics sustainability at Agrion’s Energy and Sustainability Summit in New York February 19 and 20.
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Posted January 31, 2013

SSCF Announces Formation of Advisory Board
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Posted November 30, 2012

Richard Bank and Lisa Harrington, directors of the Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation, bring us up to date on the group's efforts to introduce third-party verification of companies' sustainability programs. [Run Time (Min.): 12:54
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Mark your calendar — December 20, DC Velocity webcast entitled “Measuring Sustainability in Your Supply Chain”: SSCF Director Richard Bank, together with Ron Massman, CEO of The Dependable Companies, will participate in a special webcast to discuss the International Warehouse & Logistics Association’s (IWLA) Sustainable Logistics Initiative (SLI). The webcast is scheduled for 3PM EST. Register for the free webcast at gotomeeting.com.

SSCF Director Richard Bank spoke at the National Industrial Transportation League’s (NITL) 104th Annual Meeting & TransComp Exhibition in Atlanta, November 15. View the full presentation under our news tab or by clicking here.

View a recent video interview with SSCF Director Richard Bank from SupplyChainBrain.com discussing the foundation’s work with the IWLA.

Read a special report from DC Velocity on the SSCF’s work on IWLA’s Sustainable Logistics Initiative.

SSCF and the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) team up to foster social sustainability programs for the supply chain sector. See our news tab for more information.

June – July
WLA Selects SSCF to be neutral verifying partner in its third party logistics (3PL) Sustainability Program. Details in the June 30, 2011 press release posted under our news tab.


March 18-20, 2012 – IWLA Convention & Expo, San Francisco, Calif. SSCF and IWLA will present a progress report on the IWLA’s Sustainable Logistics Initiative (SLI) on Monday, March 19. For more event details, visit this link.

June 6th and 7th, 2012—
Opal’s 3rd Annual Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging Summit

Sustainable Initiatives in Packaging
Richard K Bank, Director, Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation

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