Logistics and the Environment: How to Go Green

Apr 18, 2019International Logistics, Supply Chain Management

In the last decade, intense environmental and climate change concerns have grown to an all-time high. With social and political pressures and a drive to do what is necessary to preserve and protect our planet, many industries are making the shift towards more sustainable processes. While sustainability had not previously been a major part of many companies’ business plans, it is now something that is front and center due to demand from both clients and consumers.

A 2018 PWC survey of more than 700 companies reported that 72% of companies mention sustainable development goals in their corporate report, and 54% of businesses mention it in their business strategy.

The supply chain management and logistics industry have a large responsibility due to the potentially massive carbon footprint of global transportation and shipping. Supply-chain sustainability is vital when it comes to keeping Earth healthy and clean. As the need for integrating more environmentally-conscious choices into supply chains grows, companies are adapting.

In honor of Earth Day, here are a few of the ways that the industry is working to better the planet:

Modern Warehouses

While the transportation industry holds a lot of responsibility for reducing greenhouse gases, large facilities are sometimes overlooked when it comes to excessive energy use. According to the World Green Business Council, the building sector has the greatest potential for reducing emissions. In the United States, buildings use more energy than either the industrial or transportation sectors.

Picking a central location for a warehouse is key for sustainability, since it reduces transportation times and overall emissions. Inside the warehouse, managers can be conscious of only using lights when needed, ensuring there is adequate insulation that doesn’t lose heat, and that the facility uses LED lighting. Outside, it is important to look into a cool roof that reflects sunlight, solar energy panels, and water-efficient landscaping.

Eco-Friendly Trucking

Our economy and nation as whole depend largely on the trucking industry. Trucking is an efficient way of moving goods across the country, but it comes at a price: a large carbon footprint. Many trucking companies are beginning to shift their focus to more environmentally-friendly practices.

While there are things that truckers can do themselves, like maintaining an average speed, utilizing cruise control, and creating efficient routes, the industry as a whole must make a transition. At the end of March, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, tweeted a photo of a Tesla Semi with the comment, “Really looking forward to getting semi into production.” With this type of innovation under way, the potential for massively reducing emissions and overall carbon footprint is substantial.

Shifting from Paper

The logistics and supply chain management industry has already made a large shift into the digital space, and that means reduced paper waste. Replacing physical paper reports, presentations, and data sheets with digital processes is not only more efficient, it’s better for the environment.

We are excited to see how logistics and supply chain management professionals can continue to work together to implement new technology and processes that will ultimately protect our planet.

For more information about TOC Logistics or our capabilities, please contact a member of our team today.



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