Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to document their impact on the environment. This pressure is coming-for North American manufacturers-primarily from the private sector. Major manufacturers are asking their upstream supply chain partners to document its environmental impact as part of green supply chain initiatives. Green supply chain programs may be initiated in order to help manufacturers position themselves to its own customers or investors, or to facilitate environmental compliance.
This focus on green extends well beyond the simple carbon footprint, which in and of itself can be a challenge to track given that almost any business activity, from turning on the lights to running a metal press, results in consumption of at least some fossil fuels. In coming to grips with an environmental footprint, a number of other impacts, including discharges to waterways, landfills, and other gas emissions, must be monitored. The life cycle impact of a product-ranging from "shipability", energy consumption, off-gassing, service requirements, and end-of-life disposal or recycling, must be taken into consideration.
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