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What is Green Logistics?

In November of 2018, a wildfire destroyed more than 150,000 acres of land near Chico, California, burning structures and forcing thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes. In comparison with 2017, the 2018 wildfires have set a new record on the number of acres affected by the disaster. Even though efforts have been made in order to prevent these catastrophes, it is clear that climate change is impacting our lives today. According to a report by the World Bank Group, climate change could displace more than 140 million people within their own countries by 2050. This means that we are currently suffering from the consequences of global warming in a more eminent way than we have foreseen.

In order to address this issue, many industries are making an effort against climate change, especially in the supply chain world. However, what is the commitment that these supply chains have to protect the environment and what measures are they adopting? Green logistics is the process carried out to minimize the damage to the ecosystem through logistics operations for example in areas such as storage, distribution, and transportation. The goal of this process is to reduce CO2 emissions and optimize the use of resources in order to generate less waste during the manufacturing and distribution process.

There are several ways in which companies can adopt Green Logistics principles to reduce the impact of their logistics operations, for example, with the correct use of warehouses. Currently, companies are betting on placing distribution centers in advantageous locations order to reduce the amount of emissions due to transportation. Also, lighting is being optimized to save electricity, while recycling and re-utilization are done to reduce waste. Equipment and packaging, for example, is also an element being revolutionized through the use of biodegradable materials that promote sustainability.

Just as companies consider the importance of measuring the metrics of a supply chain, it is just as important to measure the impact created by these processes. The term, “Green Logistics,” has earned a sophisticated connotation in the logistics field in the past years. However, now is the moment for it to be understood as an urgent priority. By implementing different green methods in technology and logistics processes, it is possible to improve international trade operations for a more sustainable supply chain and more sustainable world.

 

Sources:

Irfan, U. (2018, November 19) California’s wildfires are hardly “natural” – humans made them worse at every step. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/2018/8/7/17661096/california-wildfires-2018-camp-woolsey-climate-change

Napolitano, M. (2013, November 15) 7 trends in Sustainable Warehouse Design. Retrieved from: http://www.supplychain247.com/article/7_trends_in_sustainable_warehouse_design/green

Comunicado prensa (2018, Marzo 19) El cambio climático podría obligar a más de 140 millones de personas migrar dentro de sus propios países para el año 2050: Informe del Banco Mundial. Retrieved from: https://www.bancomundial.org/es/news/press-release/2018/03/19/climate-change-could-force-over-140-million-to-migrate-within-countries-by-2050-world-bank-report