The Walmart effect: Smaller supply chain companies studying green tech

Summary:There's green tech, as in technology that is environmentally sensitive in its own right, and green tech, software or hardware that helps a company be a better business.Since we started this blog about a year ago, much of the initial focus was on the former, rather than the latter.

There's green tech, as in technology that is environmentally sensitive in its own right, and green tech, software or hardware that helps a company be a better business.

Since we started this blog about a year ago, much of the initial focus was on the former, rather than the latter. Mainly because it was clear that most companies needed to get a handle on their infrastructure before they could be proactive about green business practices.

While there clearly are years worth of infrastructure work needed on this matter across corporate America, it's refreshing that some companies seem to be starting to view green tech as something that can be a good practice -- not just for the environment but for their bottom line. At least that's the impression given by a new survey from IDC called "AppStat: Survey: Growing Movement Toward Green IT at Small and Midsize Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Distributors."

The study, which is based on a survey of 250 decision makers from supply-chain-type companies, indicates that more of them are researching and leveraging technologies that could be deemed green. Among applications that could benefit: - Manufacturing applications that have sustainability issues at their core. - Warehouse applications that improve inventory management. - Mobile applications for conserving energy. - Human resources applications for educating the workforce about green manufacturing and distribution practices.

Likely, this shift has something to do with the Walmart effect. That is, as larger retailers try to green up their corporate responsibility messages, their policies ripple down through suppliers. Another indication why it's good for smaller businesses to look at some of these matters proactively, rather than being blinded by customer policy.

Topics: CXO, Emerging Tech

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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