Image credits: Runze Shi
News Article

Sustainability: The New Goal in Logistics

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 07/27/2021 - 12:10

The e-commerce era has created large shifts in consumer behavior with ever-more demanding consumers and ever-more complex logistics to get goods into their hands. However, this behavioral shift has also added to the environmental damage the logistics sector has on the planet, leading many to ponder how to reduce its impact. Sustainability in supply chain management has become more important for companies, according to Miebach Consulting’s ‘Sustainability in the Supply Chain’ study, over 97 percent of companies want to double their sustainability measures.

“Those who are already thinking ahead and laying the foundations for sustainable business today can greatly benefit from the new developing market. Collective actions with a comprehensive 'cradle-to-cradle' approach are necessary to achieve higher environmental protection goals in the supply chain. The number of initiatives planned shows that this can pay off now,” said Thorsten Gensmer, Director of Miebach Consulting GmbH, in the study.

Do Companies Want to Reduce their Environmental Impact?

According to the study, company motivations that go hand-in-hand with sustainability are linked to cost reduction and efficiency, which demonstrates that sustainability can be profitable for businesses. Many surveyed companies also highlighted the importance of reducing CO2 emissions, having more sustainable packaging or removing plastics, as all these measures have an impact on sustainability. However, according to Miebach Consulting, sustainable measures focused on improving the environment or the wellbeing of communities and collaborators, such as in terms of health or safety, were only mentioned by 1 percent of surveyed companies. The study highlighted that companies wanted to focus on non-expensive measures.

The sustainability measures that are preferred by companies, according to T21, include:

  • Certification according to international standards that include sustainability.
  • Saving resources (energy, raw materials, water).
  • Fostering a business culture that respects the environment and promotes CSR (Common Reporting Standards).
  • Voluntary environmental audits.
  • Proactive initiatives to anticipate regulations.
  • Reduction of traffic emissions.
  • Reduction of environmental pollution.
  • Sustainability criteria in the selection of suppliers and monitoring of their performance.
  • Evaluation of the impact of operations at an environmental, social and economic level.
  • Ecological packaging in production and transportation.
  • Sustainable design of network structures.
  • Integration of sustainability measurement in IT systems.
  • Environmental labeling of products, including its CO2 footprint and virtual water, among others.
  • Participation in eco-industrial parks.
The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Miebach Consulting, T21
Photo by:   Runze Shi, Unsplash
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst