June 24, 2024

Sustainability in Logistics: The Green Revolution

The logistics industry is undergoing a significant transformation as it embraces sustainability. At Prism 7 Resourcing, we are committed to helping all businesses transition to eco-friendly practices as much as possible. Although our powers are limited due to only really dealing with staffing solutions for businesses, we still love to see our clients making an effort and will assist in anyway we can to make any transitions to new practices smooth and efficient! In this article we wanted to explore the latest trends in sustainable logistics, the benefits of green practices, and real-world examples of successful implementations from global businesses that are leading the charge in making transport & logistics greener.

Overview of Current Sustainability Initiatives

  1. Decarbonisation: Unfortunately the nature of the business means that the logistics sector contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, accounting for about 24% of the total. Companies are increasingly adopting measures to reduce their carbon footprint, aiming for "net zero" emissions. This involves using carbon calculators to measure and manage emissions across all scopes (direct, indirect, and supply chain emissions) and partnering with suppliers who prioritise sustainability.
  2. Circular Business Models: Shifting from traditional linear supply chains to circular models emphasises reuse and recycling of materials. This approach not only reduces waste but also promotes resource efficiency. Companies implementing these models see financial benefits and enhanced sustainability through practices like recycling programs and reusable packaging.
  3. AI and IoT Integration: Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are revolutionising logistics by enhancing supply chain visibility and efficiency. AI-driven predictive analytics optimise inventory management, while IoT devices provide real-time data on vehicle performance and cargo conditions. These technologies contribute to reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency.
  4. Sustainable Packaging: The surge in e-commerce has led to an increase in packaging waste. Companies are now adopting eco-friendly packaging materials, such as compostable and biodegradable options, to minimise environmental impact. Early adopters of these practices benefit from increased customer loyalty and reduced carbon footprints.
  5. Electric and Autonomous Vehicles: The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of autonomous delivery systems are key trends in sustainable logistics. EVs help reduce emissions, while autonomous vehicles improve delivery efficiency and safety. These advancements are crucial for the future of last-mile delivery, addressing both environmental and operational challenges.

Offsetting Emissions: Addressing the Hard-to-Reduce Areas

While reducing emissions is critical, some areas of a business's operations may be challenging to decarbonise entirely. Here are strategies and examples of how businesses can offset their residual emissions:

  1. Carbon Offsetting Projects: Investing in carbon offset projects is a practical way to balance emissions. These projects include renewable energy initiatives, reforestation, and methane capture. Organisations like Terrapass and Ecologi offer verified carbon offset programs that ensure transparency and effectiveness. For instance, Ecologi’s Climate Positive Workforce plan allows businesses to offset employee and travel emissions while supporting global reforestation efforts.
  2. Direct Air Capture (DAC): Direct Air Capture technology involves removing CO2 directly from the atmosphere. This innovative approach is still developing but promises significant potential for offsetting emissions that are hard to eliminate. Companies can invest in DAC projects to contribute to large-scale carbon removal.
  3. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: Implementing energy-efficient practices and switching to renewable energy sources can substantially reduce a company's carbon footprint. Businesses can install solar panels, switch to green energy suppliers, and upgrade to energy-efficient equipment. These measures not only reduce emissions but also result in long-term cost savings.
  4. Engaging with Verified Carbon Offset Providers: Partnering with credible carbon offset providers ensures that investments are making a real impact. Providers like ClimatePartner and ClimeCo offer various projects verified by standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Gold Standard, which guarantee the quality and authenticity of the offsets.

Benefits of Green Practices

Implementing sustainable logistics practices not only protects the planet, but also offers numerous benefits to the business, including:

  • Cost Savings: Optimising routes and using renewable energy sources reduce fuel and operational costs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Staying ahead of environmental regulations ensures smooth operations and avoids penalties.
  • Brand Reputation: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability enhances brand image and attracts environmentally conscious customers.
  • Operational Efficiency: Technologies like AI and IoT streamline processes, leading to faster and more accurate deliveries.

Case Studies: Successful Implementations from the big players

Although the larger global businesses are some of the biggest contributors to the emissions mentioned above, this also gives them the power to innovate, collaborate and access solutions that smaller businesses may not be able to. It's great to see some of the initiatives being actioned in the industry with some big targets for net zero being put forward! Here's just a couple of examples

  1. DHL’s GoGreen Plus Initiative: DHL has made significant strides in sustainability with its GoGreen Plus program, which includes the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and a growing electric vehicle fleet. These efforts aim to reduce logistics-related emissions and achieve net zero by 2050. Read more about this here.
  2. H&M’s Garment Collecting Program: Fashion retailer H&M has implemented a reverse logistics strategy through its Garment Collecting program. Customers can drop off unwanted clothes, which are then either resold, turned into new collections, or recycled into textile fibres. This initiative supports circular economy principles and reduces waste. Read more about this here.

How Prism 7 Resourcing are Contributing

At Prism 7 Resourcing, we take our responsibility to the environment seriously. Here are some of the steps we have taken to minimise our negative impact our planet:

  1. Evertreen Partnership: We donate monthly to Evertreen, an organisation dedicated to Reforestation, they plant trees all around the world to offset CO2 emissions. This initiative helps reduce harmful CO2 in our atmosphere and supports reforestation efforts globally. You can see our forest grow on our public dashboard available here on our sustainability page. Our aim is to increase our commitment to our reforestation partners Evertreen as the business grows, so as a candidate or client of Prism 7 Resourcing, you are also a big part of this change
  2. Efficient Administrative Operations: We strive to carry out our administrative operations as efficiently as possible. This includes minimising printing by utilising digital documents and communication, reducing energy consumption in our offices, and encouraging recycling among our staff.
  3. Sustainable Practices: We continuously seek to implement sustainable practices in our operations, from energy-efficient office equipment to eco-friendly supply chain solutions. Our goal is to expand our impact and extend our efforts to become more environmentally friendly as a business grows.

The logistics industry is in the spotlight for the green revolution, with businesses like our own watching closely and applauding the businesses that are leading the way in adopting sustainable practices. By embracing innovations in technology, packaging, and vehicle management, over time we believe the sector can significantly reduce its environmental impact while enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. As sustainability becomes a central focus, those who adapt and innovate will thrive in the evolving logistics landscape. We want our candidates and clients to be a part of that change, so if there's anything we can do to help, please reach out to our team.

We are always on the lookout for talent in roles such as the below or looking to career shift into the ESG arena -

  • Sustainability Manager
  • ESG Analyst
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Officer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Energy Manager
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Manager

Please reach out if you have experience in any of these positions that could be beneficial to our clients.

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