Sustainable logistics: an opportunity to improve efficiency and environmental impact
What is the concept of sustainable logistics?
Sustainable logistics is a practice that aims to optimise supply chain efficiency while minimising environmental impact and ensuring long-term sustainability. This practice considers the environmental, economic and social dimensions of logistics.
There are a number of practices that can be part of sustainable logistics, such as optimising routes to reduce fuel consumption and driving time, using more sustainable modes of transport such as rail or maritime transport, and using packaging materials and durable materials to reduce the amount of waste generated.
Sustainable logistics can also include consideration of social aspects, such as worker welfare and supply chain equity.
In short, sustainable logistics is an approach that seeks to maximise efficiency and minimise environmental and social impacts along the supply chain.
What are the benefits of being a sustainable company in the logistics sector?
Being a sustainable company in the logistics sector can have many benefits, both for the company and for society in general:
Reduced environmental impact: according to a study by Oxford University, sustainable logistics can reduce environmental impact by 20%. Source: Oxford University.
Saving money: according to a Cambridge University study, companies that adopt sustainable practices in their supply chain can save up to 20% in costs. Source: University of Cambridge.
Attracting investors and partners: according to a study by consultancy PwC, 82% of investors consider sustainability as an important factor when making investment decisions. Source: PwC.
Improved efficiency: according to the German Institute for Logistics and Transport, companies that adopt sustainable practices can improve their efficiency by 15-30%. Source: German Institute for Logistics and Transport.
Improved consumer relations: according to a Harvard University study, 78% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that show a commitment to sustainability. Source: Harvard University: Harvard University.
Strategies to improve efficiency and sustainability in the logistics sector
To improve the efficiency and sustainability of the logistics sector, there are several strategies:
Route optimisation: Using route planning tools and tracking software can help reduce driving time and fuel consumption.
Collaborative transport: Sharing cargo space or transport with other companies can improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
Sustainable modes of transport: Using more sustainable modes of transport, such as rail or shipping, or electric or low-carbon vehicles, can reduce environmental impact.
Durable packaging and materials: Using durable packaging and materials can reduce the amount of waste generated and increase long-term efficiency.
Collaboration with suppliers: Working with suppliers who share the same sustainable values can improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact throughout the supply chain.
Data management: Using data management and data analytics technologies can help identify areas of opportunity and optimise supply chain efficiency.
What business areas does sustainable logistics comprise?
Sustainable logistics is a practice that covers a wide range of business areas and can be applied to any company or supply chain. Some of the business areas that can be part of sustainable logistics include:
Collaboration with sustainable suppliers: Sustainable logistics includes collaboration and optimisation of efficiency and environmental impact throughout the supply chain by working with suppliers who share the same sustainable values.
Sustainable transport: Sustainable logistics includes the selection and optimisation of sustainable transport modes, such as rail or maritime transport, or electric or low-carbon vehicles.
Efficient warehousing: Sustainable logistics also includes optimising warehousing to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
Sustainable packaging: Sustainable logistics includes the use of packaging materials and durable materials to reduce the amount of waste generated and increase long-term efficiency.
Optimised inventory management: Sustainable logistics includes optimising inventory management and reducing waste by ensuring that only necessary products are produced and shipped.
Data management and analysis: Sustainable logistics includes the use of data management and data analytics technologies to identify areas of opportunity and optimise supply chain efficiency.