Ticking bomb, used irresponsibly, or the wonderland of a better tomorrow? It depends on which approach you are using to minimize the environmental impact of your logistics activities. Sustainable transport solutions, better-utilized vehicles, and the appropriate digital tools are making sustainability a real-time need, not just a trend.
Rushing to catch the green train, or just watching him passing by? Good question and the answer is as complex as it can be. Modern demands for sustainable business push the world into the arms of environmental responsibility and ecological efficiency. But pushing literally seems sometimes like force, that you cannot resist, even though deep inside you want it badly.
Many companies are too defensive or reactive with everything connected to sustainability. This makes sustainability a ticking time bomb for the transport and logistics industry.
If you are for example in the chemical or tobacco industry, the green direction seems a little bit farther on the road, doesn’t it? But it’s not mission impossible, as sustainable logistics can bring you many overall business strategy benefits.
Green logistics means any attempt to minimize the environmental impact of logistics activities. Also known as sustainable logistics or eco-logistics, the emphasis of green logistics is on sustainability and ecological efficiency. A commitment to green logistics offers benefits including environmental responsibility, supply chain efficiency, cost savings, company reputation and the ability to forge new partnerships to name just a few. The strategies noted above regarding sustainable logistics apply to green logistics as well. On top of those, companies should consider the circular supply chain model when incorporating returns.
“Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain” is an evolving concept in the world of logistics practice that can be described as an integral transformation of logistics strategies, structures, processes, and systems towards a more rational and effective use of resources in supply-chain activities, ranging from the supply of raw materials to the transformation processes, the storage, the packaging, the distribution, and the management of the end of the lifecycle of products.
Sustainability is made up of three pillars: the economy, society, and the environment. These principles are also informally referred as “the 3 Ps” – Profit, People and Planet. By finding a balance among them, logistics can provide the best service while still enforcing and assuring a more conscious resources use.
And exactly because of this “green necessity”, the transport and logistics industry is undergoing a transformation. There rises an opportunity to implement a wide range of sustainable solutions.
1. Customers are becoming more discerning: B2B customers expect real-time transparency, flexibility, and reliability. At the same time, supply chains are changing, and resilience is gaining in importance. Travelers expect to be able to customize their travel plans and travel seamlessly to their destinations; they also increasingly prefer sustainable transport solutions.
2. Changing competitive environment: New players, such as digital transport platforms, are making inroads into the market. Cooperative ventures are also on the rise and facilitating sustainable solutions, for example in the area of urban distribution. Operational excellence and cost efficiency ensure that companies remain competitive and simultaneously help drive sustainability forward – in the form of better-utilized vehicles, for example.
3. Digitalization and self-driving vehicles are transforming the entire industry. Digital tools and platforms can help to conserve resources. Examples include fuel-efficient driving and avoiding empty hauls, to name but a few.
What companies should be most focused on when it comes to making their business more sustainable is first of all consistent and reliable reporting, as the foundation of any goal-oriented sustainability strategy. Climate has changed, and now transport accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. The transport sector therefore plays an essential role in the climate crisis. At the same time, energy efficiency helps to bring down costs, especially as CO2 prices continue to rise. Some transport companies are already aiming at carbon neutrality, but the most important is an understanding of climate risk, which forms the basis for resilient transport chains.
That’s why a crucial component of green success is the comprehensive approach to the value chain, with all suppliers, ecological and social transport aspects, the procurement of vehicles, and the establishment of logistics infrastructure. Finding a strategy and sticking to it is a must, as an effective sustainability strategy has to be closely tied to the corporate strategy, entrenched in the organization, and systematically implemented. Go green and try CO2 Emissions App, to easily make your future NET ZERO!