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Digitize to decarbonize: supply chains as an infinite loop — Net-Zero Carbon

Zero100 educates organizations to decarbonize by digitizing

(Image: FreightWaves)

On Friday’s episode of Net-Zero Carbon, FreightWaves host Tyler Cole was joined by supply chain guru Deborah Dull, senior research director at Zero100, a company founded based on the belief that supply chains should be digitized in order to decarbonize.

Creating digital networks and visibility are primary focuses when digitizing a supply chain. Educating industry professionals to decide where and how to implement digitized processes into that ecosystem is Zero100’s mission.

The traditional supply functions are source, make, move, plan, sell and use. Zero100 added a new and important step at the end of the supply chain: regenerate. That step turns this process into more of a loop and feeds the beginning of each new cycle with that which has already been used from the previous one.

“As we think about these different functions, they have natural pairing,” said Dull. “We can take a lot of the traditional challenges that organizations see, such as greenwashing or carbon-heavy activities, and we are seeing a huge demand for regenerative behaviors throughout operations.”

Organizations across the board are seeking more transparency across their operations. Apple is calling on its upstream suppliers to reduce carbon footprint, and Dell now focuses more on transparency when making new deals.

“Two-and-a-half principles of the circular economy are often forgotten — and there are only three,” Dull said. “Oftentimes, people immediately think of the circular economy with recycling, which is part of the story. But the first principle of the circular economy is to use less to begin with. So people want to digitize everything, but depending on the use case, you might violate the first principle because servers are real physical things that exist.

“The second principle is to keep materials in play. So the idea is to not recycle but to use everything even more … allowing your glass bottle to remain a glass bottle rather than breaking it down. Then the third principle is regeneration, which is what we are helping people to get their heads around.”

View all of FreightWaves’ Net-Zero Carbon episodes and sustainability stories.

Corey Smith

Corey is a staff writer for FreightWaves with experience in air, intermodal and parcel operations, as well as LTL and full truckload transportation management. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis, majoring in supply chain management, and enjoys basketball, cinema and traveling.