The green supply chain was the focus of the Supply Chain Student Association’s (SCSA) recent seminar during which industry experts informed students how eco-friendly practices are practically applied in the industry.
SCSA was founded by Supply Chain Management postgraduate students after they realised final-year and postgraduate students were uninformed about what is expected of them in the workplace.
Mr Khulekani Mkhize of Pepkor Logistics which operates more than 4 000 retail outlets in Africa, including giant clothing retailer, Pep Stores, said green logistics were a priority for their organisation.
‘We save a lot of money and electricity by switching off lights in non-operational areas of our warehouses. Water shortage is a serious issue in our country hence we use water tanks to flush toilets thus conserving a lot of water,’ he said.
‘Most of the time when companies talk about green supply chain they talk about big strategies that they still have on paper but our aim is to show you how we apply small measures to contribute to green initiatives and how effective they are,’ he added.
Mr Jan Paul Petrus of Spur spoke about the family group’s environmental sustainability strategies for waste management.
‘Waste management is a big component of my business and for us the biggest focus area is the disposal of used oil. Breakfast is the biggest part of our servings and we can use about 110 litres a day. Since used oil is now hazardous, we work with a hazardous waste company that uses the spent oil for bio fuel thus disposing of it correctly,’ he said.
Third-year student Ms Zanele Nkosi said being part of the Association had definitely broadened her knowledge and outlook on the supply chain.
‘I joined the SCSA this year and have attended their seminars and site visits and now know the difference between how the supply chain works in the real world and what we learn in class. It has also helped me when it comes to assignments because I now have a deeper understanding of the supply chain. It has also helped me to mentally prepare for my future career path,’ she said.