What is Green Logistics? | Supply Chain Management Trends in 2022

Green logistics has emerged as a trend in supply chain in recent years as both a way to lower the impact of operations on the environment and a way to earn stronger loyalty from customers who prefer buying from companies who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. The proof is in consumer sentiment. A 2021 survey in the United Kingdom, for example, showed that two-thirds of respondents prefer to purchase goods from brands and retailers who actively address environmental protection. More companies are incorporating green logistics strategies to reduce their carbon footprint and make operations more sustainable. These include the use of advanced technology to track vehicle performance, including making last-mile delivery more efficient and also better manage fuel consumption.

Minimizing Impact of Logistics Activities

Traditional logistics focuses on getting from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way possible. While this alone can address some environment concerns by avoiding such as wasting fuel, green logistics takes it a step (or two or three) farther. The focus in green logistics is on environmental protection and resource conservation. It’s a concept that has taken hold worldwide.

For example, the Daily Star in Bangladesh recently ran an opinion piece that said while government may set environmental policy, “Transport manufacturers and users also must play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and making transportation an environment-friendly business to run the wheel of the global economy.” Green logistics calls for a holistic approach rather than a focus on one part of an operation. The solutions for every company revolve around their type of logistics operations. But the idea is to make changes across the entire operation, creating a company culture of sustainability.

Examples of Green Logistics

For example, some retailers have experimented with offering customers a green delivery option. This could involve picking up a parcel at a drop box location rather than having it delivered to a doorstep, for example. Other companies have taken their own actions to make their logistics operations more sustainable. These steps include building more repair centers across the country, cutting down on the miles vehicles have to drive for repairs and maintenance. Others have purchased hybrid vehicles to replace gas-powered fleet vehicles. Automated systems that optimize delivery routes also cut down on fuel consumption, reducing a fleet’s impact on the environment. By making sustainability a priority, companies reduce the time, fuel and miles spent making deliveries. This efficiency also improves the chances of drivers making all stops on time.

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Some companies focus primarily on making last-mile deliveries carbon neutral. All these options are important to consider, because the transportation industry is considered a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency. By putting green logistics solutions into place, fleets can lower their environmental impact, as well as increase their loyal customer base. It’s a smart move both that benefits both the planet and a company’s future.

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