Climate change today is a palpable reality, first world governments have urged large industrial companies to redouble their efforts towards environmental conservation, however the implementation of ecologically oriented strategies for decades have been insufficient, currently some conversations are around the commitment of large companies to design sustainability strategies and specifically in the logistics sector, one of those that most impact the environment.
But what does logistics have to do with it? In fact, logistics in conjunction with all supply chains can contribute a lot to reduce the greenhouse effect; to reduce consumption and dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
Logistics operations produce up to 75% of the carbon footprint (Carbon Footprint is an environmental indicator that aims to reflect the total greenhouse gases emitted by direct or indirect effect of an individual, organization, event or product) of companies, which has a high impact on the environment. This has forced the parties involved to address the issue from the point of view of sustainability, giving rise to terms such as: eco-friendly, sustainable, green, clean and reverse logistics.
Elements that make up Sustainable or Green Logistics
Referring to the materials used during the packing and packaging process by exchanging them for environmentally friendly resources.
It consists of implementing an infrastructure to speed up the movement of merchandise by executing them more quickly. Green storage is achieved through simple actions, from using sustainable building materials and solar panels to maximizing the use of natural light. The advantages lie in optimizing every aspect of the process, reducing both costs and pollution generated.
Loading and unloading
In this aspect of the process what can be done is to reduce or eradicate the use of machinery that is not necessary, even investing in new machinery and tools that contribute to the sustainable actions of the company.
Transportation in logistics is one of the most polluting links in the chain. Priority is to start using vehicles that help us reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions into the atmosphere and implement route optimization or reduction of time and vehicles on the road.
For a more environmentally friendly distribution, several aspects must be considered, one of them is to focus the company’s actions on optimizing and making the supply chain processes more efficient, taking into account the related CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
Recycling of waste
Reducing the damage done by each action in the logistics process is as significant as learning to reuse and recycle. The collection of waste generated during production or distribution is important to reuse what can be reused when starting a new production process.
In recent months, the boom in internet sales and e-commerce has brought new efficiency challenges to the logistics sector in terms of last mile services, challenges that, together with the buyers’ demand to receive their purchases as soon as possible and/or the dissatisfaction associated with reverse logistics, have led to a reengagement never seen before in this sector.
Some solutions implemented:
Unification of shipments. This simplifies distances and avoids continuous deliveries, resulting in more sustainable logistics.
Innovation in business models.
Implementation of the so-called proximity logistics.
Establishment of warehouses close to major online retailers
These and other innovative solutions with well-designed strategies should be implemented in the short term by large companies to streamline their processes and improve, among other things, logistics management.
The objective is to achieve harmony between supply chain processes and their associated logistics in order to reduce polluting emissions.