What is Green Logistics and What are its Benefits?
In today's world, 'logistics cost' not only refers to money, but also includes the external costs of climate change, air pollution, waste disposal, land degradation, noise and accidents. The answer to the question of what is green logistics lies in the environmental impacts caused by the activities in this business area. Green logistics, also called ecological logistics, are measures and sustainable policies taken by the logistics industry to minimize the environmental impact on transportation, storage and other logistics activities. These policies aim to create sustainable value that balances economic and environmental efficiency. The concept of green logistics affects the configuration of processes, structures and systems or equipment in the transportation, distribution and storage of products. The traditional approach to logistics often leaves environmental sustainability aside in the decision-making process. Green logistics, on the other hand, aims to find a balance between ecology and economy. Green logistics is rapidly gaining prominence in the logistics and supply chain industry as environmental protection is emerging as one of the most important goals among governing bodies all over the world.
What is a Green Supply Chain and How to Manage That?
The term green supply chain management refers to the concept of integrating sustainable environmental processes into the traditional supply chain. This can include processes such as product design, material sourcing and selection, manufacturing and production, operation and end-of-life management. Instead of trying to mitigate the environmental impact of the supply chain, green supply chain management promotes value creation within these organizations to reduce the total environmental impact. While the specific goal of a green supply chain is usually the reduction of CO2 emissions, there are other benefits:
- Green supply chain increases efficiency,
- Contributes to less waste production,
- Reduces production costs,
- Promotes recycling and reuse of raw materials,
- Increases profitability,
- Adds value to the customer base.
The answer to the question of what is a green logistics chain is the same as the supply chain. The green logistics chain, which basically consists of similar processes, includes a sustainable transportation and supply chain.
Where to Start Green Logistics Practices?
Today, environmental responsibility has turned from a corporate slogan into a business imperative. For a more sustainable logistics activity, it is necessary to create a starting point by considering the measures within the scope of green logistics. Within the scope of green logistics practices, you should first measure the carbon footprint of logistics operations. One of the most common methodologies used to calculate energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is the UNE-EN 16258:2013 international standard.
By analyzing the impact of each logistics area, especially those related to transportation, you can reduce air, soil, water and noise pollution. Green logistics, which aims to integrate sustainability into the supply chain, is also shaped by the design and packaging of products. The important point here is that the designs should be in a way that minimizes their environmental impact. For this, you can add environmentally friendly criteria to your purchasing policy. For example, you can choose recyclable packaging for your products and minimize the use of plastic. If you want to be successful in green logistics practices, you can prioritize the supplier closest to your facility and thus reduce your greenhouse gas emission rate. Transportation, which constitutes the most important part of the logistics chain, has the highest carbon footprint. Therefore, you can purchase vehicles that are less harmful to the environment to minimize the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the vehicles you use in transportation. You can also reduce the emissions produced by rational transportation management by planning a correct delivery route.
Green Logistics, Green Warehousing
The concept of green logistics does not only cover transportation and products. It also refers to warehouse spaces with sustainable construction and management standards. The developing logistics sector also increases the need for new storage areas. If you adopt the principle of green logistics, the infrastructure of your preferred warehouse areas should also be environmentally friendly. BREEAM or LEED certificates are two of the seals that support logistics warehouse sustainability. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides objective verification that a particular building or complex has been designed and constructed with the following parameters in mind:
- Maximum energy savings,
- Efficient use of water,
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions,
- Healthier indoor air quality,
- Increased use of recycled materials,
- Optimal use of resources and sensitivity to environmental impacts,
- Reduced maintenance and operating costs.
The BREEAM assessment evaluates the material procurement, design, construction and operation of the site against a set of objectives based on performance criteria. It focuses on sustainable values in various categories such as energy, land use and ecology, pollution, quality of materials used, waste management. Each category focuses on the most influential factors, including reduced carbon emissions, low carbon efficient design, climate change adaptation, ecological value and biodiversity conservation. Independent licensed assessors evaluate the scheme and each of the criteria is scored. It is then decided whether the building meets the sustainability values. After the verification of the building and infrastructure systems, the next step is to monitor the practices inside the warehouse. Recycling should be given importance in every process. In the case of perishable products, the FIFO (first in first out) criterion must be managed and implemented correctly to control expiration dates and prevent spoilage.
Why Go Green in the Logistics?
Green logistics policies represent a strategic advantage over the competition. They not only reassess and differentiate your brand, but also prepare your company for the future, which inevitably must be sustainable. Energy saving measures are an effective strategy to cope with rising procurement costs. Limiting waste of resources. It ensures that a company is ready to comply with environmental regulations. In addition, green logistics creates transportation route optimization that allows products to be transported energy efficiently and with an effective cost calculation. Streamlining business processes through automation and mobile solutions, thereby helping organizations achieve paperless processes, helping them reduce their expenditure on natural resources. Effective use of collaborative planning and forecasting reduces the overall energy requirements of organizations. Green logistics offers the greatest positive impact on a business' return on investment. If you want to improve your company's supply chain management and implement measures to encompass the ideals of green logistics, you can count on Integrated Service Solutions (ISS), one of the world's leading companies in transportation. At our company, we are not only green, but we also offer our customers our experience in managing all types of warehouses to make them more efficient and sustainable.