Sustainability Starts with Specifications
Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. Companies of all sizes and across industries have committed to making their products and supply chains more sustainable. Not having a plan when it comes to sustainability is no longer an option: social responsibility initiatives, climate change, and consumer demands are all part of the reason that sustainability is becoming a corporate initiative.
However, when it comes to making sustainability a reality, many organizations don’t have the tools in place to easily understand and track the sustainability of their products and packaging.
With both industry professionals and the market demanding more accurate reporting — sustainability has to start with base-level specification data. And the only way to measure this level of data is to harness the power of a Specification Data Management platform.
Specright CEO Matthew Wright talks about making sustainability a reality on Pack Expo’s Innovation Stage.
The Importance of Specification Data Management™ for Sustainability
With both industry professionals and the market demanding more accurate reporting — sustainability has to start with specifications, at a DNA-level of data. And the only way to measure this level of data is to harness the power of a Specification Data Management™ platform.
Specright’s Specification Data Management™ platform makes it easier for companies to measure, analyze, & take action on sustainability.
Make Sustainability a Reality
With Specright, you can track sustainability progress.
From reducing or changing materials to verifying material sources, all of your metrics and results are in one place.
Download our eBook to learn how to advance sustainability from idea to reality.
Before You Start Your Journey to Sustainability
It’s important to understand that successful sustainability management programs need to start with specifications – the DNA-level data required to make, ship, buy and sell products. Today, many companies don’t have access to a wide range of complete or clean specification data for many reasons. Specifications are usually scattered across internal departments or live with external partners. As a result, it is extremely manual and difficult for companies to easily report on current materials across their supply chains.
The term “sustainability” can also mean different things to different people. And it’s no surprise that most companies tasked with making their organizations and products sustainable don’t know where to start. Some companies are approaching sustainability by working on circular economy initiatives or impact investing, without creating a foundation for long-term sustainability. Without proper specification management, companies are missing the opportunity to track and report on progress over time. They also miss out on continuous improvement optimizations as advances in technology occur.
Starting Sustainability Management Programs
The first step in a corporate sustainability program should be to digitize and centralize all product and packaging specifications. This includes capturing critical information such as recyclability of materials and packaging. With Specright’s specification template library, companies can understand what data they need to capture in the first place to easily report on sustainability efforts. These templates can help facilitate stakeholder engagement; since sustainability touches many departments, it can be difficult to gain consensus on what to capture. With over 50 templates to choose from, Specright has you covered.
Once a company digitizes and maps specifications along the supply chain, they can start to turn sustainability goals into definable, measurable actions. Specright’s dedicated sustainability dashboard flags opportunity for material changes or consolidation, enabling companies to shift from being reactive to proactive when it comes to sustainability. After all, sustainability isn’t something you fix in your supply chain, it’s changing the way you do business going forward.
Sustainability Across Industries
Sustainability performance is not industry specific, and neither is Specification Data Management. Specright has proven experience in many industries including Medical Devices, the Beauty Industry, the Food and Beverage Industry, and many others.
Managing Packaging & Driving Sustainability
As a tech-driven company, Rodan + Fields knew there had to be a better way to manage packaging specifications than in spreadsheets or shared drives. Learn how Specright enabled them to not only manage packaging, but track and identify opportunities to drive sustainability.
Sustainability and the Supply Chain
Companies pushing toward sustainability management often start by examining and improving their own internal processes.
When companies can manage and improve their performance throughout the supply chain, they are better positioned to conserve resources, lower costs, optimize processes, uphold corporate values, and improve consumer sentiment. However, the scale and complexity of supply chains make it difficult for companies to improve the sustainability performance within these systems.
Some of the top supply chain sustainability practices driving the industry include:
- Map the entire supply chain
- Set and report on key targets
- Mandate supplier performance
- Collaborate with industry players
- Use Specification Data Management software to monitor sustainability progress
- Learn more here
Sustainability Dashboards and Reporting
There’s a famous adage in business: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This applies to corporate sustainability initiatives and commitments made to organizations such as the Ellen MacArthur foundation “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.”
With Specright, reporting and dashboarding sustainability is extremely easy and can be done with the click of a button. Before Specright, many of our customers were reporting on sustainability by spending hours compiling spreadsheets from other departments and vendors.
Sustainability Recommendations in Specright
While sustainability tracking and reporting are critical, making sustainability a reality is only enabled through action. Our Specright IQ recommendations engine can proactively scan specifications and surface insights into how to make your products and packaging more sustainable. For example, Specright can flag packaging that can be light-weighted, saving not only money, but making the package more sustainable.
When we surveyed supply chain professionals across industries, almost all job functions were responsible for making progress when it comes to sustainability – and still keep up with their day jobs. By proactively surfacing these opportunities in Specright and making it easy to find suppliers and go to bid to make changes, supply chain professionals can quickly turn insights into action.
Quickly Perform Life Cycle Assessments
For companies looking to go beyond dashboard and reporting to understand the impact of materials across the supply chain, Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) are fantastic tools. The most difficult part of an LCA is the initial data collection and gathering, as the required specification data is typically inconsistent or scattered across the supply chain.
With Specright, companies can easily export their specification data in just a few clicks. What used to take three to four months of data gathering, typically with the help of sustainability professionals or management consulting firms, is now done in a matter of minutes.
Go Beyond Typical Sustainability Approaches
Sustainability initiatives don’t have to stop at materials used. With Specright, companies can also easily consolidate SKUs to purchase higher volumes of the same materials and make it easier for manufacturers to run products. After all, efficiencies in manufacturing also impact the holistic sustainability of a product.
Another approach is evaluating supplier locations by geography to reduce miles traveled. In Specright, we provide this visibility by tying specifications and finished goods to suppliers. Users can easily pull up maps and sort and filter suppliers by specification type or location to understand the footprint of current efforts – and identify areas of potential optimization.
The State of Sustainability
We surveyed leading brands to understand the state of sustainability. Understand how packaging and product leaders are:
- Aligning sustainability goals by department
- Measuring sustainability progress
- Prioritizing metrics
When companies approach sustainability performance with specification data, the possibilities of finding new opportunities are endless. From eliminating material usage in packaging to finding alternative suppliers that meet a specific criteria – Specright puts all of your data in one place and enables you to track sustainability progress that’s been made. And with our powerful analytics engine, Specright IQ, you’ll get recommendations on which materials can be swapped out towards environmental and cost savings to make the business case in addition to the sustainability case.
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Benchmark Your Current State
Quickly visualize specifications such as raw materials, ingredients, packaging and more with dashboards & reports to benchmark and track progress over time. Collaborate with suppliers to identify opportunities and quickly make optimizations or substitutions.
Breakdown reports by supplier, product line, material, and more.