We live in a time where the responsibility of all sectors leans towards the evolution of greener business processes. Environmental problems have become critical concerns around the world, and organizations are under pressure to develop friendly and responsible operations with people and the environment.
This commitment is, undoubtedly, fundamental to move forward on companies, government, and consumers Green Logistics. Traditional logistics can no longer meet modern society expectations since it is undeniable that its processes and systems have a great impact on the environment. Therefore, organizations must redesign and rethink how they do things. That they move towards reducing the harmful effects on the environment, for the good of society and the evolution towards innovation in logistics operations.
One of the most important reasons behind the adoption of an ecological strategy in logistics can be focused on the effort of reducing the waste of natural resources and the negative impact on the environment caused by the entire industrial sector. In this regard, the logistics operations have contributed enormously to raise the level of pollution of air, water, etc.
Logistics in the world represents a sector that leaves a high carbon footprint. It is estimated that 8% of global CO2 emissions come from logistics operations. So, their role in a more sustainable global economy is imperative.
What does Green Logistics encompass?
Facing the eco-sustainable challenge, that can no longer be postponed, Green Logistics describes all efforts to measure and minimize the ecological impact of logistics activities. This includes the supply chain carbon footprint, dealing with waste disposal, packaging, recycling, reducing energy consumption, etc.
It focuses on companies’ efforts to implement more sustainable operations and reduce their emissions. Where the main objective is to coordinate logistics activities and implement them in a way that benefits the economy, the environment and society.
3 green and more profitable logistics strategies
1 . Bet on digital logistics
Digital tools are an enabler towards more efficient and green logistics. Through digital logistics, such as cloud logistics solutions, it is possible to connect all systems and create a way of working across silos. This allows operations visibility than with traditional methods is impossible. With this, it is much easier to eliminate activities that are no longer useful, so the processes become more effective and at the same time more sustainable.
Another simple aspect, but at the same time important, is saving paper. Managing work through the cloud saves us thousands of paper impressions that would have to travel from one place to another to be able to mobilize the system.
Digital technology applied to logistics can provide full operations transparency and is the most cost-effective way to integrate sustainability into supply chain management. This is work that must be done either way they are defined or not as green logistics.
Digital transformation, as we have already mentioned in other articles, is a necessary process to stay competitive.
2 . Share logistics assets
The lack of a continuous flow and disconnection between processes is one of the great factors of resources misuse. Instead, the collaboration between different partners can make logistics operations more sustainable.
“Sharing logistics assets” is one of the ways to reduce the carbon footprint in logistics, proposed by ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through European Collaboration). It refers to the space resources union to make the most of them and optimize the load capacity of trucks, containers, and trains. Sharing space makes it possible to reduce or eliminate the number of low-load or even empty trips, which is a big problem in logistics today. By sharing resources, we can reduce the number of empty routes between 15% and 40%, therefore reducing emissions and making processes more profitable, a win-win result.
It is about advancing toward the Physical Internet. A revolutionary concept that we have already discussed in another article.
3 . Transport routes optimization
Transportation is one of the sources that produce the most greenhouse gas emissions. Optimizing routes are a great tool for products to move as efficiently as possible. Tracing smarter routes, avoiding traffic, obstacles and other factors can reduce your carbon footprint and be much more efficient in deliveries.
Another significant advantage is fuel savings, so redesigning routes and planning times benefits both the company and the environment.
What will happen if we do not act towards green logistics?
Companies of all sizes and logistics operations that do not firmly commit to the shift towards ecological responsibility will lag the evolution of the market. They will cease to be competitive.
This has become a gigantic effort that unites companies and logistics providers, which in coordination are generating strategies to reduce the carbon footprint. As environmental concerns have become a higher priority for consumers, more companies are committing towards sustainable goals, to be as green as possible. This will give them a unique selling proposition to win over new customers who are even willing to pay more for more responsible products and services.
If a company does not go for green logistics, in the long run (and it may not take a long time) it will find itself at a significant disadvantage.
Instead, with a supply chain management focused on sustainable practices, efficient processes are created that reduce the consumption of resources and their associated costs. This is a true revolution that involves the world of logistics, where innovation and digital transformation are on your side to empower change.
Logistics is not polluting per se, the challenge is to create sustainable and zero-emission logistics processes. We must rethink how we do things, there is no other alternative. To achieve this, we have a multitude of technologies available. We just must get to work, ones that do not tackle this will leave the market sooner or later.