4 Routes to Green Logistics
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By Morgan International Staff Writers
Most organizations appreciate that many of their customers and wider stakeholder base care about the environment. Some care to the extent that they are willing to do business elsewhere if they do not think decent environmental standards are being upheld. Within B2B relationships, the same is true, with expectations between suppliers about the right and wrong way to manage ‘green’ logistics. The first thing to say is that logistics aren’t impact neutral on the environment. The use of transport and fuel will always have a carbon footprint. So at this point in time, the efforts are to minimize the environmental impact caused by logistics.
- Transport Management Systems
This is perhaps the most important of the methods that can be used to reduce the carbon footprint. A TMS is a piece of software that essentially helps with planning routes. It is used in a number of ways to reduce impacts:
- Plan the most efficient routes with the least mileage, also given traffic conditions.
- Manage multiple transport methods such as sea, rail, and air.
- Optimize shipping loads.
- Reusable cases
This is a fairly small adjustment, but by investing in and using reusable cases, it reduces the environmental impact of the logistics process. Furthermore, a well-made case will reduce the amount of damage in transit, and therefore the wastage of rework.
- Direct thermal printing
Direct thermal printing is a greener option compared to thermal transfer printing, as it does not use ribbon. The issue with ribbon is that it is made which crude oil products and also their use produces harmful emissions.
- Company culture
You can get points 1-3 right, but company culture will undoubtedly have a greater impact on the environment than these three combined. It is the employees of the organization that make the majority of decisions, that cumulatively will determine if green choices are made – or not. Therefore instil a green culture into the organization to ensure there is sustainable support for the environment
As said in the introduction, being green is not an absolute. There are few businesses that are carbon neutral. Within the logistics space specifically, the aim of organizations should be to reduce their environmental impact. This will most effectively be done through direct action (points 1-3) and indirect through instilling the right culture into employees.