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Consumers Driving ‘Greening’ of Supply Chain

The environmentally conscious "green" movement is having an impact on American businesses and helping to drive change from the ground up. New research finds almost 77 percent of manufacturers feel they are being held accountable by customers to open up about the environmental impact of their businesses.

That means making information on the environmental impact of their products available to customers and requiring  information regarding environmental impact from their vendors and the rest of their supply chains.

The research was done by IFS, whose supply chain management solutions offer help to companies looking to provide such environmental accountability.

More than 80 percent of the survey's respondents said that green supply chains – in which companies make purchasing decisions based on nonfinancial criteria, including the environmental impact of vendors and their products – will become more important in the next three years. The study was conducted in December 2010 and included more than 200 executives with manufacturing operations with greater than $100 million in revenue, according to the survey.

However, respondents indicated that their IT infrastructure , including enterprise resources planning (ERP) software, was not keeping up with their changing green supply chain needs, with 87 percent reporting that this data was handled at least in part through hard copy.