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#Currency Management

Software makes the cash cycle more sustainable

New Technology
5 Mins.

Supply chains are in the spotlight for their negative environmental impact globally. This is true for the cash cycle as well. With new technology and software, however, solutions are available to make logistics more cost-efficient, and more sustainable for the planet.

It is increasingly obvious that the earth’s climate is at a tipping point. Frequent and increasingly dangerous extreme climate events pose a threat to global supply chains as well. In a recent study, 49% of CEOs surveyed said that these interruptions were the biggest physical threat they faced due to climate change.1

Globally, companies are accelerating their environmental responses. Placing the climate at the center of their strategy is no longer a choice, but a necessity. The challenge lies across the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) spectrum. Other global events have also focused attention on sustainability and climate change. According to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)–Accenture CEO study, 72% of global CEOs said that sustainability remains an immediate priority in the continuing fallout of COVID. Indeed, more than half (57%) of CEOs in the study said climate action was a “priority” in their recovery from the pandemic.2

Increased scrutiny

Companies change their behavior because they perceive their own responsibility, and also because of the expectations of relevant stakeholders – consumers, clients, investors, and the legal requirements of the respective countries.

Businessman and businesswoman with tablet talking in a factory hall

Supply chains in particular are being scrutinized due to their use of largely fossil-fuel-based transportation. These resources run the gamut from planes and ships to trucks and vans. Keep in mind that even electric mobility still isn’t completely powered by renewables. In fact, global supply chains create more greenhouse gas emissions than deforestation! According to Accenture, 60% of all global carbon emissions are generated by supply chains.

It is clear why supply chain sustainability has emerged as a key corporate pillar. Companies are now measuring – and seeking to reduce – the environmental and societal impacts of the movement of their goods and services.

Optimism through innovation

According to a report authored by UNGC and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), “Supply chain sustainability is the management of environmental, social, and economic impacts, and the encouragement of good governance practices, throughout the lifecycles of goods and services.”2

Let us focus on the environmental aspects here. While most companies with transparent reporting strategies acknowledge their carbon footprints, tackling the problem is another issue altogether. The good news is that the carbon footprint of any given company’s supply chain can be tackled at multiple points through the application of advanced technologies that already exist, or are being developed as we speak.

The transport of inputs and goods is costly and often highly inefficient. This is true across industries. Since it is such a huge cost center, companies expend huge effort and technological inputs in ensuring that their logistics function as efficiently as possible. Companies as diverse as DHL and BMW (to take just two examples) are developing cutting-edge tech – from artificial intelligence to quantum computing – in order to reduce their carbon footprints, and those of their vendors and customers.

This extends beyond just transitioning to electric mobility (though of course that is important). Better route planning, minimization of journeys undertaken, track and trace, demand forecasting, etc., are all part of it. This involves delving into processes at a granular level, to identify points where a software intervention can save money and time, and unlock efficiencies. In the process, you do the earth a favor as well.

Businessman in a high-tech company, controlling manufacturing machines using a digital tablet

Cashing in

The cash cycle is something most of the world is still invested in. Even with the strides in digital payments, much of the earth’s population still needs banknotes and coins to transact the daily business of life. The logistics of getting all that money into all those pockets is an enormously resource-heavy business.

For cash-in-transit (CIT) players, getting their transport right is a huge challenge. Cash is heavy, requires security during transport, and requires close monitoring. Customer demands within the cycle fluctuate. There will be times when ATMs need to be refilled – around festivals, for example – and other times when there won’t be as much of a push to withdraw money.

G+D knows the cash cycle intimately and has invested in lessening its environmental impact. Robert Rose, Senior Portfolio Manager Currency Solutions at G+D, says, “G+D introduced the Green Cash Cycle Initiative to drive sustainability into our own product portfolio, and to cooperate with the cash cycle players for a greener banknote cycle … the next level of optimization is about the currency network itself.”

“Utilizing data and software solutions can help achieve a more sustainable operation with reduced mileage, fewer stops, and ultimately a reduced environmental impact.“
Ross Knight
Director of Business Development & Product Management, Digital Solutions, G+D

Beyond physical innovations like its NotaTracc® trays, G+D offers software solutions that cut through the inefficiencies of the cash cycle. G+D’s Compass Transport allows companies to more efficiently plan routes, track orders, and automate workflows. Compass Transport integrates with a third party’s own route optimization tool, so that these goals can be attained. Travel time is optimized and fuel consumption reduced, without losing sight of complex operational constraints. Compass Transport also increases visibility of the transport operation and resources and provides feedback through a track and trace system for the CIT team, while management reporting helps to continuously improve performance.

Similarly, Compass Forecasting helps CITs and banks accurately predict demand across their branch and ATM networks, and more easily adapt to fluid business requirements. This saves on logistics, without compromising on the availability of cash at any given time. It is also a business reality that central banks are increasingly outsourcing their cash processing. They use data to control the cash cycle even when the money is physically elsewhere. Compass Cash Center supports such schemes. It provides the visibility and reassurance that stakeholders require, minimizing shipments between central banks and their commercial partners.

Ross Knight, Director of Business Development & Product Management, Digital Solutions, at G+D, says “Utilizing data and software solutions to optimize the cash cycle firstly leads to major efficiency gains, but can also help achieve a more sustainable operation with reduced mileage, fewer stops, and ultimately a reduced environmental impact.”

Everybody wins

Companies are moving quickly to cut their carbon emissions. Increasingly sophisticated technologies, including proprietary software, are part of this strategy. Finding the right partner, with the right solutions, helps everyone, and the planet as well.

  1. The supply chain is the key to winning the fight against climate change: UNGC-Accenture CEO Study, United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, 2022.

  2. Supply Chain Sustainability: A Practical Guide for Continuous Improvement, UNGC and Business for Social Responsibility, 2010.

Published: 16/03/2023

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