February 22, 2011 – Enterprise software will soon be necessary to track environmental costs the same as financial costs through the system, according to new research.

Almost 77 percent of manufacturers participating in a recent survey said they are currently required by their customers to report on their environmental impact and that of their products or require their vendors to do so. As analyzed by IFS, it suggests that green supply chains are becoming the norm.

More than 80 percent of respondents said that green supply chains are going to become more important in the next three years. The study was conducted in December of 2010 among more than 200 executives with manufacturing operations with greater than $100 million in revenue by Affinity Research Solutions and IFS North America, a provider of enterprise solutions.

Respondents showed that their IT infrastructure was not keeping up with their changing green supply chain needs. Only five percent rated their ERP software as “excellent” in its handling of green supply chain data while 54 percent rated their ERP solution as “poor” or “not at all helpful” in this regard.

“Manufacturers will have to develop some automated approach to tracking environmental data,” says Charles Rathmann, marketing communications analyst, IFS North America. “Most people are working in paper-based systems and spreadsheets,” he says. The survey showed 87 percent reporting that data was handled at least in part through hard copy.