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Building Green Supply Chains with Creative Manufacturing


July, 2023


Neelam Chhiber


As society increasingly grapples with impending climate change crises, there is a critical need to build resilient and greener supply chains.

The growing focus on catalysing nature-based solutions presents a timely opportunity for artisanal, indigenous and native communities across the world to showcase the benefits of their inherently sustainable and planet-friendly production techniques. The time is ripe for the creative manufacturing and handmade sector to take a lead in this conversation. Here is why. 


Sustainable production and consumption can become beacons of inclusive growth and development.


Reduced waste is intrinsic to all traditional, cultural, and creative production techniques. 


Green supply chains can contribute significantly to reduced carbon emissions, increased carbon sequestration, promotion of regenerative raw materials and production processes, reduction in vulnerabilities and waste within communities, and increased biodiversity.


Artisan production has traditionally been regenerative and collaborative, producing goods for themselves. This translated into their reclaiming both cultural diversity as well as biodiversity. 


The fate of more than 90% of the world’s biodiversity lies in the hands of 5% of its indigenous communities, whose cultural diversity, indigenous wisdom, and traditional practices hence become critical in green supply chains. 


70% of the actions required to reduce impact on climate are in food, fashion and lifestyle value chains. Creative manufacturing encompasses all these sectors and can offer solutions to build alternative people-and-planet-positive value chains. 


Value chains that comprise carbon-sequestering raw materials such as bamboo, natural fibres, sustainable timber, etc. and reduce emissions through the use of solar, wind, hand, and simple technologies can lay the foundation for green supply chains.


Artisan communities are grassroots advocates for climate justice and need to be rightly seen as carbon mitigators rather than recipients of climate adaptation support. 


Investing in CMH can help build sustainable supply chains, decrease vulnerabilities within communities, increase biodiversity, reduce waste, and mobilise new forms of renewable energy and resources that are climate-positive.


Encouraging and promoting localisation will help underserved communities access much-needed work leveraging local resources, and is critical to ensuring better climate and social outcomes while building resilient global supply chains. 


Neelam Chhiber

Neelam is the Co-Founder of Industree and Mother Earth. For the past three decades, she has been working on the economic and social transformation of India’s most vulnerable women through the intersectionality of Equity, Climate, and Gender by unleashing their abilities to build and scale self-owned collective enterprises across climate-positive value chains.

Keep exploring:


Creating Digital Artisan-Entrepreneurs by Infusing Catalytic Capital


A Missed Investment Opportunity: Investing in Women in India’s Artisan Economy


Empowering the CMH Sector with an Artisan-Centric Strategy

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