How Do Reusable Assets Improve Sustainability?
In today’s business environment, sustainability has become a key component of success. To ensure that you’re on the right track toward sustainable operations, it’s important to look at how your supply chain operates and where improvements can be made.
Moving from single-use to reusable assets can help retailers, manufacturers, and distributors improve efficiency and minimize environmental impact while saving costs. Because of this, reusable assets and sustainability often go hand-in-hand. Here’s how reusable assets help your sustainability strategy.
Supply Chain Sustainability
Supply chain sustainability pertains to the processes and initiatives that companies take to reduce their carbon footprint and any negative environmental impact on the ecosystem:
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
- Optimization of shipping routes
- Packaging assets made of recycled material
- Consideration of the end of life for new products
- Implementation of reusable asset management
How Reusable Assets Improve Sustainability
Reusable assets are items like durable plastic pallets and totes — or even kegs! They reduce waste, cost savings and environmental impact by eliminating the need for single-use packaging or shipping items. When you purchase reusable assets, you’re not only helping the environment but also your organization’s bottom line.
Reusable assets reduce waste by reducing or eliminating single-use items from your inventory, which means less energy used in manufacturing those products and fewer materials used up in creating them. That then results in less waste going into landfills and less pollution of our air, water and soil. Reduced waste, cost savings and reduced negative environmental impact are all benefits of reusable assets.
Reusable Asset Tracking
In order to maximize cost savings from reusable assets, a reusable asset tracking program, such as RFID technology or barcoding, is available from Real Time Intelligence. Tracking your assets ensures that they are not lost (or possibly even stolen) somewhere along the supply chain. If they are taking too long or collecting in a certain location, metrics provided by RFID tags allow businesses to locate those items and make sure they return to their point of origin.
Tracking reusable assets is key to knowing the stock of reusable assets available and avoiding costly or unnecessary replenishment. The assets are also able to realize their full lifecycle before requiring replacement.
Implementing a Successful Reusable Asset Program
A key component of implementing a successful reusable asset program is to have the right pool of assets at the right time throughout your complex network. This can be achieved two ways:
- Understanding what your asset needs are and determining if you have an existing set of assets that can meet those needs.
- Identifying the best solution for new assets (e.g., buying new or leasing) if you don’t currently have the amount of assets needed.
Reusable packaging is a type of sustainable packaging that has several benefits. It helps reduce waste, achieve more cost savings and reduce environmental impact. A reusable package can be used for multiple purposes and can lessen the amount of material required to produce a single unit, which in turn reduces the amount of energy needed during production.
Reusable packages are also easy to clean and sanitize if they’re made with non-porous materials that don’t retain odors or stains; this makes them safe for use in food service settings, such as restaurants or hospitals where reuse is common practice.
One-way packaging is another environmentally friendly solution. These packaging materials have a life cycle of approximately 5-10 years but are biodegradable and can be disposed of safely since they are made of plant cellulose.
Leasing Reusable Packaging
Leasing reusable packaging provides you with a wide variety of options in terms of materials, types and sizes that can help you establish a customized solution for your stores or distribution facilities. Leasing is an especially attractive option if you’re looking for ways to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of your product packaging.
By leasing, you’ll find it easier to make changes as your business grows or changes over time, reducing waste from obsolete products while limiting capital investment in inventory that may not be used as often. Leasing also allows you to take advantage of emerging technologies that may not yet be widely adopted by other companies in your industry or region (e.g., biodegradable materials).
Achieving True Sustainability
Reusable assets and sustainability go beyond what materials you use; it includes how you manage your supply chain and maximize asset utilization. Reusable assets help to reduce waste and realize cost savings while improving overall business performance.
With the right tools and knowledge, you can transform your business into a sustainable operation that is good for the environment and its people. By implementing reusable asset tracking from Real Time Intelligence, you will have access to a wide range of solutions that will help you optimize materials usage and reduce waste.
For more information on this topic or to see how RTI can help you meet your goals contact us.