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IBM has created a new consulting service around the topic of sustainable procurement. According to the company, the offering is designed to help clients identify cost, efficiency and sustainability measurements and goals for their procurement activities. It covers all supplies, materials, ingredients, components, finished goods and services that companies purchase to run their operations and deliver products and services. Implementation of a comprehensive sustainable procurement strategy can lead to cost and efficiency improvements, better regulatory compliance, reduced environmental impacts and improved relationships with customers and supply-chain partners, IBM said. It estimated that 80 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions associated with supply-chain activities occur outside a company's or government agency's own operations. By establishing guidelines for energy use and monitoring performance throughout the supply chain, companies can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from shipping finished goods by as much as 10 percent, IBM said. The Sustainable Procurement offering covers six main areas within the supply chain: environment, community, health and safety, ethics and financial accountability, diversity and labor practices. In a related announcement, IBM is working with Omron Corp., a Japanese maker of sensor and control equipment, to provide "green" transportation management. The offering will help clients to decide which types of shipping and transportation to use, and the best travel routes for reducing costs and CO2 emissions in the delivery of packages, parts, supplies and finished goods. The arrangement combines Omron's sensor capabilities and expertise in traffic control, vehicle weight measurement, and transportation distance and loading ratios systems with the mathematical calculation technologies of IBM's Virtual Route Planner and Modal-Shift Transportation Planner offerings.
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