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SCRS 2023: The Triple Bottom Line: Balancing Profit, Planet & People in Supply Chain Sustainability

SCRS Conference Day 2 Session #13

The Triple Bottom Line: Balancing Profit, Planet & People in Supply Chain Sustainability

Moderated by: Mr. Alvin Lau

Panelists: Mr. Edward Goh, Mr. Abdul Halim Jantan, Mr. Verghese Thirumala, Ms. Jo-Ann Shanti


The concept of the triple bottom line is a fundamental principle in supply chain sustainability, emphasizing the need to balance profit, planet, and people. It recognizes that businesses should not solely focus on financial gains, but also consider their impact on the environment and society for long-term profitability. By integrating sustainability practices into the supply chain, companies can achieve economic success while minimizing their ecological footprint and promoting social well-being. Embracing the triple bottom line can create a sustainable and resilient supply chain ecosystem that benefits the planet, people and businesses.

Are there any specific technologies or innovations that your organization has adopted or plans to implement to enhance sustainability within the supply chain? 

Ms. Jo-Ann Shanti, VP of Sales & Commercial at Project Argus, pointed out that asset-tracking solutions, like Genesis tracker, IoT sensors, and RFID solutions, are now more affordable than ever and provide greater traceability for businesses. Optimizing truck routes using dynamic optimization tools to reduce fuel consumption, improves efficiency, and minimizes tire wear and tear by enabling trucks to take the shortest delivery routes. IVM systems utilized for driver safety monitor driving parameters, like over speeding, harsh braking, acceleration, and cornering, which from an environmental perspective, can be reduced to lower emissions and avoid violations fines.

Mr. Edward Goh, Head of Group Security, TES-AMM, shared that building the battery recycling plant, utilizing solar energy and large containers for energy storage, and usage of IoT devices for energy consumption optimization are some of the firm’s continuous sustainability commitments. Additionally, the organization uses EV forklifts in its warehouse and is currently exploring using carbon nanotube technology to transform waste plastic. 

Mr. Verghese Thirumala, Founder and Managing Director of Maxitulin, shared that artificial intelligence and computer vision can convert video data into intelligent business tools. For example, analytics can count vehicles and determine the utility of loading bays. This information helps supervisors not only optimize workforce allocation and improve productivity, but also reduce carbon emission and usage of resources.


How do you address the challenges of implementing sustainability practices in global supply chains with diverse regulatory environments?

Mr. Abdul Halim Jantan, CEO of Sterling Group, highlighted that businesses are confronted with the challenges of diversity in regulatory frameworks based on different legal foundations. It would be beneficial to establish a sense of homogeneity to address these challenges and incentivize progress. TAPA plays a crucial role in this regard, creating a common language and setting minimum global expectations for specific regulatory requirements.  

Additionally, governments or businesses can implement a fair and effective incentive programme, a vendor risk management system can be established for all stakeholders in the supply chain. Suppliers who uphold ethical practices, demonstrate integrity, and prioritize Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors can qualify for the incentives. By fostering collective leverage through organizations like TAPA, we can collectively influence government mindsets by highlighting the business benefits of such initiatives. This approach focuses on achieving positive change and promoting sustainable business practices.

How do you collaborate and/or incorporate global programmes to embrace sustainability?

Edward emphasized that strategic governance with a clear vision and planning is crucial for success. He shared that TES-AMM focused on three pillars: trust, alignment and feedback. Companies should engage internal and external stakeholders, including customers, investors, and the community, to build trust, align protocol and gather feedback. Feedback loops, which are integrated into decision-making processes, provide continuous improvement and insights to better enhance sustainability programmes.

Halim pointed out that to truly implement global sustainability programmes, organizations must go beyond the current approach and establish a ‘Virtuous Cycle’. This entails aligning ourselves with a moral compass, upholding integrity, and ensuring our actions are correctly carried out. Doing so creates a virtuous circle that promotes recycling, refurbishing, and, ultimately, the circular economy. The key to this concept is encouraging everyone to do the right thing for the right reasons while increasing value through efficiency. This involves eliminating corrupt practices, addressing human rights and forced labour issues, and infusing our actions with a sense of humanity. By prioritizing these aspects, we can pave the way for global sustainability programmes that truly make a positive impact.

Which do you think is the most important consideration between profit, planet and people in supply chain sustainability?

Edward expressed that while sustainability comes at a significant cost, aligning the outcome with organizational values, and integrating them into the overall business strategy will bring back the balance on profitability, or even more.

“Having a strong moral compass and maintaining integrity. These principles should guide our purpose and actions and align our goals with the betterment of humanity, even if it means sacrificing profit. This journey begins with every one of us to create a better world for everyone. Only when we adopt this mindset can we achieve a shared and balanced, better purpose for people”, Halim strongly emphasized.

With ESG becoming a requirement rather than an option, sustainability presents a bigger opportunity for businesses to invest in, collaborate and harvest the longer term benefits. Throughout the journey, collaborating with stakeholders is important to be stay resilient and prepared for ESG-related threats. TAPA Standards help to foster a resilient and sustainable supply chain ecosystem that benefits the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

To learn more about TAPA Standards, please visit TAPA APAC website at www.tapa-apac.org or email to info@tapa-apac.org


About the Moderator

Mr. Alvin Lau                                                                                          Executive Director, Greater China, TAPA APAC

Mr. Alvin Lau is TAPA APAC Executive Director, Greater China, who takes charge of handling Chinese members’ concerns and implementing the best initiatives locally. Alvin has a double major in Bachelor of Commerce in Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management. He has been in the Supply Chain industry for the last 20 years, with experience in Aviation, Construction and Engineering, Oil and Gas, Marine, FMCG, Life Science, and Healthcare industries.


About the Panelists

Mr. Edward Goh                                                                                        Head of Group Security, TES-AMM

Mr. Edward Goh is an accomplished security professional. His vast experience and exceptional leadership skills led him to be recruited by TES, a globally recognized E-waste technology and engineering solution company. Edward joined TES as the Head of Security for Asia Pacific in 2018 and was promoted to Head of Group Security in 2021, responsible for overseeing security operations across the organization’s diverse portfolio.


Mr. Abdul Halim Jantan                                                                        CEO, Sterling Group

Mr. Abdul Halim Jantan is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Insurance Brokers, a company he started in 2000. Before embarking on his broking journey, he spent 14 years at American Malaysian Insurance Berhad (AMI), his last position as the Chief Executive Officer. At Sterling, he had developed and pioneered the insurance for power plants and significant industrialized risks, particularly in mega construction projects.


Mr. Verghese Thirumala                                                                  Managing Director, Maxitulin

Mr. Verghese Thirumala is the founder and managing director of Maxitulin Sdn Bhd. Founded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1997, the company focuses on physical security systems and telemetry, enabling clients to reduce dependence on security officers by enhancing physical security technologies. The company complies with a business presence in Indonesia, Philippines, India, and Cambodia.


 Ms. Jo-Ann Shanti                                                                                     VP Sales & Commercial, Project Argus Pte Ltd

Ms. Jo-Ann Shanti is a technically knowledgeable and experienced sales executive with 20-plus years of providing supply chain and precise location-based telematics solutions to key government agencies and logistics industries. Jo-Ann has vast experience with homeland securities, cold chain deliveries, secure deliveries, and oil & gas safe deliveries and practices, allowing her to provide effective solutions for customers.


Watch other SCRS Conference 2023 Keynotes and panel discussions here: Session Replays


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