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Logistics and the carbon footprint

On a global network where commerce influences each aspect of the economy, there are more advancements implemented to assure fast and efficient processes. But, how do you measure and reduce the unavoidable impact on the environment? Sustainability is a process related to how human actions impact its surroundings. This concept is integrated when you look to assure that your operations do not impact the environment on a negative way. Logistics is a process that takes place from the manufacturing place to the delivery point. Taking into account other processes such as storage and distribution, this industry is integrating structures and processes to improve operations, augment efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint.

Since the logistics industry involves a solid relationship with transportation, the reduction of CO2 emissions is key. Even though many vehicles already work with alternative fuels like hybrid or electric cars, it is possible to adapt more efficient and sustainable strategies such as systematic route planning and centralization of logistical platforms that reduce mileage during transportation of goods. As routes become more efficient, they become more sustainable.

An example of how a company has adopted measures to reduce its footprint is Walmart in China, which announced its goal to reduce emissions on its supply chain by 50 million metric tons by the year 2030, which equates to the emissions of the average electric use of 40 million homes in China. A way to achieve this goal is by working along with suppliers in order to reduce the environmental and economic impact.

On the other side, associations like Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) are working to develop methodologies focused on how companies can measure their carbon footprint and implement actions to reduce it. In regard to logistics, it is evident that logistical activity can help to reduce emissions on the environment since they are directly linked to transportation. It is possible to adopt sustainability strategies at the supply chain in such ways they reduce their carbon footprint in order to give the next step on efficient operations for a sustainable trade network.



Hardcastle, J. (2017, January 24) How Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, Other Major Purchasers Save $12.4 Billion by Reducing Emissions. Retrieved from:

Walmart Inc.(2018, march 29) Walmart Commits to Reduce Emissions by 50 Million Metric Tons in China. Retrieved from: 

Nambiar, S. (2016,June 28) New method to calculate carbon footprint of logistics supply chains. Retrieved from:

Environmental Leader (2017, February 28) Top 5 Benefits of Sustainable Supply Chains. Retrieved from: