A business’ transportation requirements can have significant environmental and social impact. From business flights, employee commuting, freight and delivery systems. Movement of goods causes emissions, leaks, air pollution water pollution and exhaustion.
Actions toward sustainability can be achieved through simple ways to start such as fleet management and reducing travel frequency by using phone calls and the internet to communicate. For shipping and freight, consider shipping companies that are eco-efficient or recognized, review your shipping and delivery practices for instance reducing the amount of paperwork involved. Deliveries can be scheduled for off peak hours to avoid the traffic. This saves time and fuel. Consolidations of shipments can also be done to reduce shipping related logistics.
Logistics and supply chain management
Sustainability drives efficiency – and this is particularly true in supply chain logistics. You don't have to sacrifice profitability to achieve sustainable logistics; the two go hand-in-hand. Reaching this vision however, requires partnerships and collaboration as one company cannot do it alone.
Sustainable supply chain management involves integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the complete supply chain lifecycle, from product design and development, to material selection, (including raw material extraction or agricultural production), manufacturing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, consumption, return and disposal. Environmentally sustainable supply chain management and practices can assist organizations in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimizing their end-to-end operations to achieve greater cost savings and profitability. All supply chains can be optimized using sustainable practices.
Sustainability in the supply chain encapsulates a number of different priorities:
- Environmental stewardship
- Conservation of resources
- Reduction of carbon footprint
- Financial savings and viability
- Social responsibility
Supply chain sustainability practices, in order to succeed, must deliver improved environmental performance within a financially viable operating construct.
Sustainable supply chains are a win-win situations because it is a cost-saving /waste-reduction efficiency-increasing and communication strategy, retail partners benefit from this as well because it is cheaper for them. This all-win scenario means that sustainable supply chains is not difficult to communicate with business partners.
The key is collaboration. Working with retail partners and logistics suppliers to achieve real progress by removing, not transferring, costs and complexity behind the scenes. The important factor is to understand the priorities on both sides and to work with them toward a joint vision. It also brings a balance needed between long term aspirations and short term demands.
Sustainability is both a responsibility and an opportunity to secure the future of our businesses and society. We need to embrace a 'do and learn' mindset and be willing to invest now for future gain—it is good supply chains and good business. There is no compromise between sustainable logistics and sustainable profitability, so no argument not to do it.