Dow Case Study

According to Blanchard (2013), the framework that a company like DOW can follow to start a green initiative involves changing of its supply chain framework. This entails the shifting of its freight to less impactful modes of transportation. From DOW’s supply chain, it is evident that the goods the company supplies via air result to higher emissions than other modes of transport such as rail and vessel (Blanchard, 2013). DOW can also start a green initiative through pallet reduction and increased regional distribution. Pallet reduction facilitates the reduction of green house emission through ensuring that materials like plastic and wood that are used for making the pallet are not burnt after they have been used, which results to GHG emission. Thus, DOW can reuse or recycle the pallets that it uses for transporting and moving its cargo. Increased regional distribution is a recommended strategy because it helps in eliminating many trips to a region, which in turn reduces green house gas emission. Various challenges abound regarding the abovementioned strategy for green initiative. Firstly, the company will have to incur additional costs for repairing pallets in case it uses wooden pallets because they are usually fragile and break easily. Notably, repairing the wooden pallets is the only alternative viable in this scenario other than purchasing of new pallets. Another challenge entails increased warehousing requirement if the company adopts increased regional distribution. Notably, it is not automatic that when the company increases a regional supply the demand increases automatically. Thus, it will be forced to use funds for renting warehouses or creating their own, which is an expensive venture. Lastly, shifting from freight to a less expensive mode of transport is also a challenge because delays can ensure and sometimes, the less expensive modes of transport are not functional where DOW supplies its goods (Blanchard, 2013).

DOW can employ electric cars and trains to facilitate the reduction of fuel consumption and GHG emissions in its supply chain. Electric cars and train can facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions since they do not burn carbon in their engines, but they use electrical power to propel their engines (Emmett & Sood, 2010). Thus, minimal GHG emission is ensured in this scenario. Alternatively, DOW can employ the use of hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel. Notably, vegetable oils and fats play a critical role in the manufacture of this fuel. The fuel undergoes several processes for it to be used on diesel engines and to meet the petroleum-diesel ASTM specification. According to Bowersox, Closs, & Cooper (2012), the major challenges that DOW will face in adopting these fuel efficient mode of transport include the higher costs of electricity in some regions, power blackouts, and the expensive cost of hydrogenated fuel. Despite the fact that electricity is a good alternative for the reduction of green house gas emission, it can increase the cost of transportation since the company might be forced to generate its own electricity, which is costly. Additionally, some regions do not have a constant supply of electricity, which can result to delays in supplies as rail or vehicles might become stuck en route to deliver the supplies (Wang & Gupta, 2011). Notably, adoption of electric rail transport also comes with additional costs such as acquiring and maintenance of containers for holding the company’s facilities while in transport. This will also pose a challenge to the company as it requires a high initial capital. Another challenge that DOW will face entails the production or purchasing of hydrogenated fuel. According to research, this is a good alternative fuel for powering vehicle engines; however, its production is expensive and requires planting of soybean, palm or canola, which requires expansive land since it has to be a large scale production.Thus, the company will have to invest more on land (Wang & Gupta, 2011).

A collaborative partnership entailing rail carrier is one of the relationship that DOW needs to acquire with its suppliers. Notably, it the company employs this mode of transport, its carriers might end up returning to their main supplies depot empty; thus, the company can coordinate with its rail carrier supply partner to ensure that they find customers for its carriers to cut on costs and promote a greener supply chain (Emmett & Sood, 2010). Besides, the company can work on a business partnership with its customers who coma to collect their products directly from their depot. DOW can partner with its customers so that they can fund their acquisition of green vehicles. If the customers consent to its acquisition of green vehicles, this will cut on the emissions significantly. On the other hand, DOW can also advise their customers against coming for their supplies directly and they can fund the green project through supplying the customers with green vehicles that they have acquired (Supply Chain Quarterly, 2013).

DOW can benefit from greener emissions trading through selling of the products that it has facilitated production such as hydrogenated fuel. Notably, several companies might become interested in their venture, which means DOW can expand its business to the production of green fuel. This also applies to electricity whereby other companies might outsource the electricity produced by the company. DOW will benefit from the green initiative through engaging in the transport business (Bowersox, Closs, & Cooper, 2012). Notably, when the company adopts electric rail carriers, its containers will be returning to the main store empty. Thus, the company can get interested partners to be transporting their goods in their carriers, which will cut their transport costs and earn them profit at the same time. International recognition also abounds as a benefit to DOW in adopting a greener initiative. When a company becomes recognized internationally, it has a chance of getting more customers who will be proud of its step in ensuring a world without GHG emissions. This ensures from the fact that people will deem the products of the company safe as they are not contaminated while on transport. Besides, people become confident with the products of the company since they will think of the green initiative transport as reflecting the higher quality production of the company goods (Wang & Gupta, 2011).

Four main changes in mindstates abound as ways to facilitate the institutionalization of a greener supply chain. First, it entails managing an extended ecosystem, which involves the supply chain capability of delivering results across an independent ecosystem. This capability is found both in the inside and outside of a corporation. Various players fall under the independent ecosystem, and these include multiple levels of suppliers, transportation companies and distribution and channel players (Supply Chain Quarterly, 2013). Notably, large-scale carbon-footprint reductions involve these players who fall under the supply chain. Secondly, building capabilities across the ecosystem is another mindstate changing point to ensure a greener supply chain. This involves the instilling with knowledge some of the players in the supply chain in order for them to build new capabilities that will ensure the reduction in carbon emissions. Thirdly, leveraging for large-scale carbon reduction through promoting the culture of measurement and execution. According to Supply Chain Quarterly (2013), supply chain heads should be reminded from time to time to live within their targets of reducing carbon emissions instead of them setting goals that they do not fulfill. Lastly, a companies mindsets regarding the design influence should changed. Design influence plays a critical role in ensuring a greener supply chain because when companies adopt production of goods and services that reduce consumers and customers energy intake, carbon footprints and waste, it ensures a greener supply chain. Design influence in this category factors a products size, weight and the capability of the product to be recycled. Notably, supply chain has a major influence regarding how products are manufactured for reliability, deliverability, reliability and sustainability. Thus, this is one of the critical mindset that needs change in the supply chain to ensure a greener supply chain.

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