Bipartisan Bill Boosts ‘Supply Chain’ Efficiency
Senators Jeff Bingaman, Scott Brown, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor today introduced a bipartisan bill designed to drive energy efficiency improvements in the supply chain of all businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones. The bill – S. 3396, the Supply Star Act of 2010 – would build on the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program and on best practices in industry and research communities to give companies access to resources needed to maximize supply chain efficiency.
Many companies are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their supply chain, which includes materials, manufacturing, packaging, transport, use/disposal of goods and so on. They are doing so largely because it is good business. Decreasing energy use in the supply chain can significantly lower costs. However, these efforts face hurdles, especially in small companies, which can limit implementation. These hurdles include a lack of analytical tools and information for important parts of their operations. Overcoming these challenges requires resources and access to information that is often unavailable (or unaffordable) to smaller companies.
The Supply Star program would provide companies with financing, technical support, training and sector-wide networks to help improve their supply chain efficiency. The program also would provide public recognition to businesses which achieve the greatest efficiency improvements, rewarding them with a marketing tool that will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
Sen. Bingaman (D-NM): “Companies today are facing pressure on many fronts – from customers, stockholders, business partners and regulators – to improve their energy performance in hopes of maximizing profit, minimizing environmental impact, and shielding themselves against the price volatility of fuels. Since up to 90 percent of a company’s energy use can come from its supply chains, a program like Supply Star makes perfect sense.”
Sen. Brown (R-MA): “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to support this bipartisan measure that will make our businesses more energy efficient, allowing them to create more jobs at home, gain competitiveness in the global market, and provide important environmental benefits. Supply Star provides common sense incentives for businesses to start taking a hard look at how to maximize their energy efficiency, which is a good first step for both our economy and our environment.”
Sen. Lincoln (D-AR): “Small businesses in Arkansas stand to make great gains with the tools and incentives offered by the Supply Star program. With additional resources to help them increase their overall energy efficiency – from the manufacturing to transporting of goods – these small firms will have the opportunity to save money and invest additional capital into hiring more workers. Importantly, by increasing their energy efficiency these businesses will be able to lend a benefit to the environment and economy as a whole.”
Sen. Pryor (D-AR): “From smarter packaging to more efficient transportation routes, companies can achieve tremendous energy savings along the supply chain. Our bill provides the opportunity for businesses who want to lead the way for a more energy-efficient future. The result is a win-win for companies, their customers and the environment.”
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