Consumers are driving shippers and distributors to go green at a quickening pace. In fact, more than a third of shoppers choose brands based on their sustainability values and actions.
How is the logistics industry adapting to these demands? There are three big areas where even small steps can make a positive environmental impact.
Before products hit the road, there are steps that can be taken to reduce waste in warehousing. Heating and lighting a warehouse can be costly, as most are spacious and have high ceilings which can cause drafts.
While finding a smaller, more cost-effective warehouse may not be a possibility, you can maximize your current warehouse by installing energy-efficient lighting and additional insulation. This will also reduce costs during the winter months, as you won’t run up your energy bill by using as much heating. You also have the option of installing solar panels as an alternative way of powering your operation.
Read: SupplyChainBrain's 2022 Supply Chain ESG Guide
The equipment used within the warehouse can also affect your carbon output and overall efficiency. Investing in packaging made from recycled materials, as well as focusing on the maintenance of equipment for a longer lifespan rather than replacing them, will have a huge impact on the level of waste your warehouse produces.
The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — accounting for about a third of GHG emissions in the U.S.
Partnering with a third-party freighter who’s committed to sustainability can build goodwill with customers by proving your dedication to finding alternate solutions. From the ground, you can reduce the number of trips required by only shipping in full truckloads. Optimizing this means fewer vehicles on the road and subsequently less emissions.
Making a change to your truck policies can also have an impact. Establishing with your drivers what’s considered too much idling, which wastes around six billion gallons of fuel every year. Additionally, setting a limit on the speed and range of vehicles can help to form a balance between fuel efficiency and speed of delivery.
Alternative Energy Sources
The distribution industry relies heavily on gas to power our vehicles to keep the supply chain moving.
In order to adapt to a greener approach to operations, some businesses have begun switching from traditional gas-powered vehicles to electric and hybrid vehicles. These vehicles produce almost half the carbon emissions that traditional vehicles do.
Watch: How Can We Supercharge the EV Rollout?
Many customers are willing to pay more for the change, according to a survey by Accenture, and more than 70% say they’re buying more environmentally conscious and friendly products than they were five years prior.
With the speed at which the world is changing, we need to be prepared to adapt at all levels. Embracing more sustainable methods of shipping, distribution and managing supply chains is a must.
Stewart Beer is site manager at Electrix International.
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