EDITORIAL: What I Learned at SSC, By Marla Stancil

Our June blog theme will be sustainability education, which happens to coincide with the end of my internship and the onboarding of the summer interns. 

In business school, I learned about sustainability in the form of business “cases”, highlighting how companies had handled such challenges historically.  SSC provided me the opportunity to see how sustainability practitioners manage real life cases in a dynamic and rapidly changing landscape (generally very different and much more challenging than the hypothetical problems used in an academic setting).

Throughout my internship, I was exposed to many sustainability topics, and encouraged to really think about them in order to write the blog and comment on other work within the company.  Often the topics that arose were intended for a result of our small business audience, many of whom are suppliers to larger companies. 

While large retailers get more exposure and are the ones seen making the visible splashes in sustainability, their suppliers are the silent innovators with the lion’s share of the work.  Required to answer both customer and regulatory demands, suppliers seek guidance from SSC to navigate these expectations and fit their business practices to meet changing needs.

Seeing this side of the supply chain built my confidence fact that trends towards sustainability are here to stay.  The innovations have reached beyond the marketing to consumers, and have begun to change the way business is conducted all the way up the supply chain.  Suppliers are encouraged to innovate in order to maintain their customers, but also to adhere to environmental standards that aren’t as recognizable.  My internship helped me understand these complexities, and gave me insight into how much more goes into building a sustainable business than what meets the eye.

Written By: Marla Stancil