In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Erika Marsillac of Old Dominion University reveals how going green is keeping some companies in the black.
Erika Marsillac is an assistant professor of decision science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her professional experience has included work in the non-profit, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors, and her research interests now focus on green supply chain management, sustainable manufacturing, and international partnerships. She received her Ph. D. in Manufacturing Management from the University of Toledo, and also holds two M.B.A.’s in Information Technology and General Business Administration, and a B.A. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Erika Marsillac – Green Supply Chain Management
When I tell people what I do, their most common response is “And what exactly IS green supply chain management?” The short of it is that green supply chain management tries to reduce the environmental impacts of making, transporting, using, and then disposing of stuff. The long of it… well, let’s just say there are a lot of things involved in making that happen. Because when you’re trying to address environmental issues, you can’t just look at how things are made, or moved, or used, or thrown away. You have to look at all those things at the same time.
For example - I could own a gas guzzler for a car, but if I only drive it 2,000 miles a year, I’m going to make less of an environmental impact than if I own a gas sipper and drive it 50,000 miles a year. Taking a comprehensive perspective is very important when working on green supply chains.
Many companies used to think that focusing on environmental issues was a waste of time and money, so they either didn’t do it, or they only did it when they had to. But soon they began to realize that being green could actually be strategic, and not only save environmental resources, but also save money in the long term. At the same time, many consumers were changing what they valued in products and services, and they began to realize that if THEY wanted to make less of an environmental footprint, then the products and services they bought and used would also have to change. Today’s top companies use environmental issues as an opportunity to make themselves better. And that’s why green isn’t just good for the environment, but good for business too!