What is Green Logistics & its Significance for Your Business 

The logistics industry is now slowly inching towards adopting eco-friendly measures. Such initiatives intend to reduce the adverse environmental impact of logistics activities. 

And to support the cause, the concept of green logistics was born. Americans have understood this necessity, and 64% of the survey respondents stated by the Business of Sustainability Index are willing to pay extra for sustainable products. 

People are supporting the mindful step towards preserving environmental health. And with green logistics, things are only about to get better. 

For newcomers to the logistics industry, you must learn about this concept and buckle up to adapt to it for the best. 

What is Green Logistics?

Green logistics promotes the business practices targeted to revolutionize their operations sustainably. It can be better understood by the term eco-logistics. 

Traditional logistics operations were focused on customers, sales, revenue, and business stability. But no logistics practices in the past ever thought about how they impact the environment. 

But not anymore, as with the green logistics strategies, things are now evolving for all good reasons. The concept of eco-friendly logistics is not just biased toward protecting the environment but also improves business sales for the logistics industry. 

It is the effort imposed by a company to lower the carbon emissions to the environment. The purpose is to limit or eradicate pollution released into the environment carelessly. 

With proper utilization of the green logistics strategies, there will be an evident balance between economy and ecology. Companies are being advised to amend their business policies and add green logistics solutions to let the world thrive along with their businesses. 

What is the Purpose of Green Logistics?

The basic purpose of imposing green logistics operations over the traditional adaptations are:

1. Measuring and reducing carbon footprint

With sustainable logistics practices, the companies will be able to realize the carbon footprint they are leaving behind with every truck they send out for deliveries. In this way, the companies can work their way out to reduce these footprints gradually. 

The most preferable and widespread methodology for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption is within the UNE-EN-16258:2013 international standard

2. Reducing all forms of pollution

One of the major goals of green logistics operations is to reduce or eliminate air, water, noise, and soil pollution in each of the areas of the logistics business. The transportation areas are implementing major changes, especially in their areas of operations. 

3. Recycling and reusing supplies

Green logistics promotes the reusability of existing containers for storage purposes, whereas recycling of the used packaging materials. 

4. Reduce the supply chain costs

With the eco-friendly strategy, the brand representation will be improved at less expense. The environmental-friendly practices in the logistics sector will eventually cost less with lower fuel consumption, less packaging costs, and fewer labor expenses. This way, the business’s supply chain is improved with sustainable logistics practices. 

Benefits of Switching to Green Logistics 

The environmental impact of carefree use of available resources is now under watch. Green logistics is one of the many powerful initiatives to control this worsening environmental impact. 

The newcomers to the industry should be aware of the benefits that they will experience when they switch to environmental sustainability practices or green logistics, which include:

1. Eradicates greenhouse gas emissions

The most thought benefit is that it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The players within this industry are now lowering their energy consumption and are optimizing the transport operations to reduce carbon emissions

2. Minimizing waste

Waste management is the next perk of adapting eco-friendly logistics. Most companies use digital means for documentation, maintaining records, and collecting e-signatures with dedicated software like Upper Route Planner. 

With such measures, the amount of waste generated reduces as paper-file keeping is not primarily preferable anymore. Such practices solve one of the major environmental issues and also streamline the business by storing all the information under one central dashboard. 

3. Promotes customer awareness

Consumers are now concerned about their contribution towards minimizing carbon footprints. Therefore, they are looking for brands following the same considerations towards maintaining good environmental health. 

Brands with environmental policies in their core operations can make the customers aware of more they can do to protect the environment. They can also spread the word among people who aren’t yet alarmed by environmental degradation. 

Challenges with Going Green 

It is really good to know that there is a policy out there that is convincing the logistics processes to go green. But, the logistics companies have expressed their problems with switching and implementing these environmental policies. Even though they want to contribute to the fullest, some challenges are blocking their ways, and those challenges are:

1. Finding an alternative to fossil fuels for the transportation industry

It is difficult for the industry to find any viable alternative to fossil fuels to switch fuel consumption aspects and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The search is still on. 

2. Management of complex supply chains

The bigger companies that send out many different products have a very complex supply chain. A single product can have many suppliers, manufacturers, and materials alongside its supply chain. 

The complexity in imposing green measures to promote environmental protection is that all of the elements of a product’s supply chain need to be tracked for sustainability, which is expensive and daunting. 

3. High chances of initial errors

Introducing new eco-logistics and business sustainability will increase the risk of mistakes at the initial adaptation stage. The slightest mistake in overall management can lead to product waste, transportation planning errors, and other financial losses. 

4. Convincing suppliers and manufacturers to be sustainable

It is one of the common challenges of imposing sustainability on the existing supply chain management, which will probably not last for long. To become wholly sustainable logistics providers, you must also bring the suppliers and manufacturers on board. 

Well, not all of the role players within the supply chains are convinced to spend money on switching to sustainability, at least not yet. There is still time for the entire world to understand the importance of environmental protection. In that case, the logistics company with a noble cause has to bear the consequences. 

How to Switch to Green Logistics? 

Here are evident measures you can take to switch to eco-friendly logistics policies:

1. Automate route optimization

First things first! Route optimization used to be done earlier manually, on papers. It was not just creating much paper waste but was also increasing the fuel costs of delivery vehicles. Manual routes were longer and were unoptimized. This way, the trucks had to cover a longer distance to complete all the deliveries. 

To correct this flaw, you should utilize automated route planning software such as Upper Route Planner. It will help you add multiple stops to the map and create optimized delivery routes that are the shortest possible alternative for them to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. 

Upper Route Planner also eliminates the need for paper usage. It allows you to add parcel information, contact details, drive information, and proof of delivery on a single centralized dashboard for all of the permitted parties to access. So, it is one of the most crucial elements of eco-logistics that you must implement. 

Do 3x Faster Route optimization on Upper

Use Upper-made optimized routes to perform eco-friendly logistics services. Save time and vehicle costs by using a fully automated process instead of spending too much time on the road.

2. Incentivize sustainable delivery options

On-demand and one-day delivery are often a downfall for the environment and the logistics company that wants to become sustainable. It is because on-demand delivery vehicles don’t head out for delivery with their maximum capacity, which eventually costs a lot to the business. 

Customers will accept the fact to get the order a bit late in exchange for some discount. Give them an incentive as an offer or discount for choosing a sustainable delivery option, and most will pick it. 

3. Dispatch the electric vehicles first

Program your fleet management algorithm to prioritize the delivery of electric vehicles at first. As EV vehicles cannot commute farther distances, make sure your algorithm hands them over the feasible routes. 

4. Use of bikes for urban logistics and smaller deliveries

Local deliveries in nearby urban locations can be done on a bike, bicycle, or foot, depending on the delivery distance. Bicycle and foot delivery are ideal ways to eliminate gas emissions and to promote the health of delivery persons. Implementing the same immediately is difficult, but soon more companies will start this initiative.

FAQs

Green logistics is the process whereby logistics operations and supply chain management are revolutionizing with environmental policy. Companies need to be environmentally conscious and take responsibility for their actions towards the good or bad of the environment.

Reverse logistics is the operational process of reusing and recycling materials within the logistics company. Green logistics can be adapted in accordance with reverse logistics, as one of the major purposes of sustainability is to reduce waste disposal. Hence, these policies eventually contributed to the economy and ecology altogether.

The ways with which you can cut costs through eco-friendly logistics are:

  1. Eliminate the use of paper stationeries for keeping records and operating business. 
  2. Save fuel by introducing more fulfillment centers near the delivery locations.
  3. Use digital route planning software.
  4. Arrange deliveries from hyperlocal stores.
  5. Provide electric vehicles for delivery within the urban areas.
  6. Batch the delivery of goods to increase the drop density.
  7. Use bikes for local deliveries. 
  8. Offer discounts to customers for choosing sustainable delivery options.

Final Remarks 

Not all organizations have adopted sustainability policies so far. The authorities are now forcing businesses to take immediate actions on changing their mode of operations to help reduce emissions and stop climate change effects. 

Green logistics is a strong initiative proposed for delivery and transportation companies. It has so far been successful with the co-operation of several industries. Upper Route Planner, an ideal route planner software, is also programmed to support sustainability in the industry. 

We have tried to digitize most of the delivery business operations through a single portal. You can always to realize how your logistics business can perform optimally with our software. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

https://www.upperinc.com/blog/green-logistics/