Sustainability is a key for businesses nowadays. Learn how to introduce sustainable logistics in your eCommerce business to reduce your carbon footprint.
The supply chain and logistics industry underwent massive disruption during the global pandemic with consumer demand shifts, labor shortages, and other infrastructural challenges. It was particularly difficult for businesses with complex supply chains, affecting their production. However, amidst all the challenges, the supply chain industry manifested its resilience and continued its operations, thus helping businesses thrive in difficult times. After all, the global logistics market,previously valued at $7,641.20 billion in 2017, is projected to reach $12,975.64 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2020 to 2027.
The recent disaster has forced the business world to acknowledge the need to be environmentally conscious and practice sustainability in every sector. So, undeniably sustainability is also a crucial factor for logistics and supply chain management.
Sustainability generally means fulfilling current needs without compromising the future generation’s ability to fulfill their needs. It refers to being mindful of the natural resources and conserving them for future generations to sustain. In the context of supply chain and logistics, it relates to implementing environment-friendly practices and processes starting from the supply of raw materials to the transformation processes, the storage, the packaging, the distribution, and the management of the end of the product lifecycle.
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While it is common to relate sustainability with environmental conservation, there are two other essential elements of sustainability: social responsibility and economic development.
Best practices for Sustainable Logistics
Sustainable logistics practices are becoming crucial nowadays for eCommerce businesses worldwide. Lately, consumers have become more supportive of environment-friendly practices. As per a report by Hotwire, 47% of consumers confirmed switching to another product or service provider if there is a violation of their values, including environmental responsibility. After all, most supply chain and logistics organizations acknowledge that sustainable or green logistics is crucial for the sustenance of their business.
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Here are some best practices to embrace sustainable or green logistics for your business:
- Adopt Technology. The most effective way to organize and make your delivery route more efficient is by adapting a robust, AI-powered technological platform with an algorithm to optimize your last-mile route. If it can reduce even 10% of the miles driven, it has a significant positive impact on evading carbon footprint. It also enables you to offer green delivery options to your consumers and make them happy about your business.
- Choice of Green Delivery Options. Many customers actively select a later delivery date if they are informed that by not opting for same-day delivery, they are contributing to a decrease in emissions and thus helping the climate. However, you should provide your customers with all the options and information to make an informed decision. After all, delivery time slots affect sustainability.
- Transportation Network. Transportation networks have made relevant changes post-pandemic to adapt and meet the demand shift. Such adjustments include transforming stores into fulfillment centers, providing kerbside pickup, and others. You can implement some route optimization techniques to contribute to the sustainability effort by finding the right companies for warehousing, hiring vehicles, and others to decrease mileage for delivery systematically in a well-planned manner.
- Optimize Last Mile Logistics. Last mile logistics tracking is not only about tracking delivery; it’s also about getting the right data, at the right place, at the right time. It goes a long way in helping plan your deliveries and reduce the miles driven. It also prepares you for any failed deliveries and enables you to update your customers. Detail information also enables your customers to choose for themselves and show their support for your green logistics effort.
Carbon offsets might play a crucial role in reducing carbon footprint. Carbon offsetting is still a controversial topic. However, regularly practicing cutting emissions from the source is more effective in reducing carbon offsetting. Per Oxford Dictionary, “Carbon Offset: a way for a company or person to reduce the level of carbon dioxide for which they are responsible by paying money to a company that works to reduce the total amount produced in the world, for example by planting trees.”
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Carbon offsetting is beneficial, no doubt. However, you shouldn’t consider it as the “be-all and end-all” for offsetting the entire carbon footprint. After all, there are not enough carbon sinks to offset all the CO2 humans produce. Some of the most effective and well-known carbon offset programs comprise renewable energy programs, energy efficiency improvements, carbon sequestration, and aviation offset programs.
To sum it up, practicing sustainable logistics is undoubtedly the right step toward consciously adopting environment-friendly operations and contributing to conserving natural resources for future generations. Businesses worldwide and supply chain and logistics companies should work together to bring about this change while supporting customer demand. After all, consumers nowadays are also aware and highly supportive of responsible businesses that attempt to go green.
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XPDEL helps eCommerce brands accelerate their growth, empowering them with multi-channel fulfillment, whether shipping directly to consumers, delivering to businesses, or selling through retail stores. We are founded and operated by veterans with experience from Amazon, FedEx, UPS, JDA, Walmart, Target and other leading companies in eCommerce and Retail. Guided by these experts, we provide customer experiences that help you grow your business.