Everything you
need to know about
Green Logistics

December 5, 2022

Online sales and delivery services have increased in the past few years, which makes more people buy their daily needs online. Sometimes these purchases need to be transferred from one country to another, resulting in longer supply chain and more logistics. All these operations affect the environment causing emissions and pollution rates.

As a result, protecting and saving the environment has become more critical than ever, this is what Green logistics is trying to do. Green logistics, also known as eco-logistics, means reducing the emissions and environmental impacts of logistics activities by using sustainable policies during all operational processes, from manufacturing to product disposal, covering the product’s entire life cycle. In other words, and as Forbes wrote, “greening the supply chain to beat climate change.”

Logistics’ traditional goal was to move products and information from one point to another in the best way possible. This goal can be achieved by reducing the amount of used fuel which is considered an environmentally-friendly tactic. But this alone is not enough, and green logistics aims to protect the environment and conserve resources by creating a state of balance between environment and economic activities.

Aspects of green logistics

Recycled raw materials

Using recyclable and eco-friendly raw materials in manufacturing processes can reduce air and water pollution by decreasing the urge to extract raw materials and prepare them for use in the manufacturing process. Moreover, procurement policies must include eco-friendly criteria, e.g., reducing the use of plastic for packaging. According to the European Commission, “by 2030, all plastic packaging should be designed to be recyclable or reusable.”

Improve distribution channels

Distribution channels constitute a significant part of logistics operations, and green logistics strategy seeks to reduce emissions by using shorter channels, new trucks with better engines, and speed limits management to reduce fuel consumption. Implementation of green distribution channels aims to minimize environmental damage. 

Using renewable energy

Renewable energy won’t run out, and fossil fuel won’t be here for less than a decade. Still, alternative energy will last forever, and there are various types of renewable energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower energy. Using alternative energy may cost more initially, however, this cost will reduce in the long run. It also helps to protect the environment with no greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to health improvement.

Warehousing

Company’s warehouses must follow sustainable standards and they should be designed according to building sustainable management, with efficient use of renewable energy, waste management, and using as little packaging as possible to reduce resource waste.

Challenges of green logistics

Green logistics have many benefits for both businesses and the environment, reducing transportation costs and improving logistics activities along with protecting the environment.

It reduces the environmental impact of logistics activities, improves health, increases efficiency by controlling energy waste. It also reduces costs by managing materials and energy waste and reducing shipping time and distances. But, companies are facing many challenges while trying to implement green logistics because of the following:

Expensive green technology

Transportation depends on fossil fuel instead of renewable energy sources and the high cost of new technology that reduces pollution. This challenge limits the ability of companies to take advantage of alternative energy in the delivery and shipping process.

Increasing consumer demands

More delivery orders result in more traffic in cities. Sometimes companies have to take only one order or a few orders that are not enough for a full load, which increases the number of times needed to deliver consumer demands and leads to overcrowding and increased emissions and pollution levels.

Insufficient support

Lack of IT application and enthusiasm for advanced technology adoption because of high investment costs is also one of the green logistics implementation obstacles. Many governments do not support companies to move to environmental-friendly logistics operations, for example, offering customs exemptions to import environmental-friendly technology or raw materials, and banks do not provide special loans for eco-friendly reasons.

Not enough knowledge

There is also a lack of awareness of the importance of adopting green policies in logistics activities to protect the environment. Media platforms must educate consumers and business owners about the importance of adopting environmental-friendly policies and how this will affect everyone’s future and help reach sustainable development.

Lack of consumer interaction

Consumers may overlook companies’ efforts to adopt green logistics policies. It is primarily related to the lack of awareness, as mentioned earlier. The reason is that logistics operations are quite invisible to consumers as there is no direct interaction between consumers and logistics activities aside from delivery service. If consumers are interested in protecting the environment and if they are interested in companies’ environmental policies, green logistics will become a competitive advantage.

Conclusion

In recent years, eco-logistics have become a trend in supply chain management. Working to create a healthier and happier community to live, work and play in is a job for every one of us. At Maurice Ward Group we take our role in this challenge very seriously and are dedicated to doing more to reduce our impact on the environment for our customers, colleagues, couriers and the communities in which we work.

We are proud to announce the start of our first ECO courier in Prague! This means that our team in Czech Republic does transport of small shipments via full electric cars. Afterwards the customer receives a certificate on how much CO2 emission was saved depending on referential values for similar diesel car.

To lower the CO2 emissions, we have also decided to equip our fleet with electric cars. Find out more about the e-cars grant we applied for by clicking here and here.

Did you know?

The first ever ‘cargo only’ flight was recorded in November 1910 in the USA, using a Wright Model B aeroplane that flew 65 miles carrying a package of silk. The business owner used the pioneering transport more as a PR stunt to celebrate the opening of his store, with the bundle of silk cut into individual pieces and glued onto souvenir postcards.

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