We humans live on the Earth, and everything we do leaves a bit of a footprint just from being here. Sometimes, modern life does not always make us the best of neighbors. That is why ESG, or environmental, social, and corporate governance programs, have become popular for many corporations as a way to claim that they are better citizens than their competition. They do this because multiple studies show consumers want companies to be aware of their environmental footprints. It is popular to be proactive—or at least appear to be.
However, when it comes to the environment, many supply chains are better at “greenwashing” than they are at being good to the Earth. Greenwashing is when companies claim to be more concerned for the environment than they actually are. For example, they may trumpet green improvements in one focused area while ignoring others where they are major polluters. They might promote certain beneficial practices without releasing real proof or quantifiable results.
Some companies buy carbon offsets, such as planting trees to reduce their carbon footprint. But is planting trees where trees were going to be planted anyway really an effective environmental strategy? Backlash is starting to occur, as consumers are beginning to discern between companies merely claiming to be earth-friendly from those actually helping the planet.
The good news is that there is a lot of room for our supply chains to improve their environmental impacts. Transportation accounts for 29% of America’s greenhouse gases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and 83% of that comes from the trucks and vehicles we drive every day. The gradual replacement of internal combustion vehicles with electric trucks and cars will eventually make a huge difference in lowering greenhouse emissions.
But there are other strategies we can implement while we await electrification of our fleets—and many of them save money while also reducing our environmental impact.
For instance, we can use planning tools to better optimize loads to fill trucks and eliminate empty backhauls. Software can find the best roads and shortest routes, while trucks can be equipped with speed limiters to save fuel and reduce pollutants. Other tools are available to right-size the packages we send so that we are shipping products and not empty air.
We can shorten distances by using suppliers closer to networks and customers. Distribution centers can also be placed nearer to final delivery points to shorten those expensive and less-efficient last miles. Our facilities can also feature energy-efficient building materials, solar panels, power-saving lighting systems, and landscaping that uses less water.
So, instead of greenwashing, let’s do some greensaving. Let’s be real with efficient supply chains that save money while also improving things here on good old planet Earth.
Copyright ©2023. All Rights ReservedDesign, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing