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Organisations must integrate sustainability in supply chain for growth, says Odebode

Organisations must integrate sustainability in supply chain for growth, says Odebode

In navigating the path to profitability, organisations must integrate sustainability in the supply chain, John Odebode, a Nigerian supply chain management professional, has said.

According to him, organisations must embrace sustainability as a core principle integrated into their strategies.

Odebode made this known in a phone interview with BusinessDay.

“Sustainability is not just an ethical responsibility but also a driver of long-term profitability and success,” he said.
According to him, “To address decision-making challenges, organisations should prioritise the environment and human capital alongside financial considerations.

“Investing in research and development enables cost-effective alternatives that minimise environmental impact without compromising quality or customer satisfaction.”

Ernst and Young, one of the largest professional services networks in the world, emphasised the importance of the supply chain, as it contributes over 90 percent of an organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions and 50 – 70 percent of operating costs.

Odebode said sustainability was crucial for humanity’s survival and is increasingly proving to be a key driver of business strategy, offering opportunities for positive environmental and societal impact while also increasing profitability.

“However, organisations often face challenges in developing efficient and sustainable models. One of the main obstacles is decision-making, where organisations often face the challenge of choosing between environmentally friendly options, which are often expensive, and cheaper alternatives that harm the environment.

“This dilemma raises important questions about prioritising profit over the well-being of the environment and human capital when positioning organisations as enablers of sustainability,” he said.

Read also: More credit needed to drive growth in Nigeria’s automobile ecosystem

Harvard Business School said in supply chain sustainability, cost reduction, revenue growth, risk management, and intangibles are key to redefining return on investment.

“Innovative approaches to investment and operational management, supported by an agile organisational culture, empower employees to enhance growth opportunities. It is crucial to align offerings with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals for 2030,” said Odebode.

He said to effectively measure profitability and efficiency, organisations must assess sustainability impact through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics.

“Supply chain management plays a critical role in achieving sustainability objectives. Considering the environmental impact in decision-making and implementation reduces waste, energy consumption, and carbon emissions, fostering reliability, transparency, cost savings, customer retention, and competitive advantage.”

Odebode is a Nigerian supply chain management professional with a background in ExxonMobil and Cummins Inc., that has highlights the immense potential of sustainable supply chains.

He studied environmental ethics at the University of Lagos and green business management at San Francisco Bay University in California, United States.

In his practice, he has facilitated compliance with environmental sustainability regulations from a supply chain standpoint by managing logistics for gas flaring monitoring devices and conducting research on hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing ecosystem as an alternative to mainstream energy.

Odebode believes that organisations must embrace sustainability as a core principle integrated into their strategies. He said, “Sustainability is not just an ethical responsibility but also a driver of long-term profitability and success.

“To address decision-making challenges, organisations should prioritise the environment and human capital alongside financial considerations. Investing in research and development enables cost-effective alternatives that minimize environmental impact without compromising quality or customer satisfaction.”

He further said that “by aligning strategies with the United Nations’ goals and utilising ESG metrics, organisations can effectively measure progress, make data-driven decisions, and improve sustainability performance.

“Proactive organisations actively seek opportunities to reduce their environmental footprint, enhance social well-being, and create shared value for stakeholders.”

According to him, by embracing sustainability as a core principle, organisations can navigate the path to profitability while making a positive impact on the environment and society.