Everyone Has a Stake in Greening the
World of Logistics
There are four driving forces in efforts to build sustainability
into logistics operations today, says Jason Mathers, project
director for the Environmental Defense Fund. They are cost
reduction, the expectations of investors, consumer demands,
and acceding to what a company’s employees want.
It’s never been more important than to get costs out of the supply
chain, and every bit of electricity or fuel that goes into making or
moving or delivering a product is “wasted” money, Mathers says.
And it leads to more emissions than we need. The importance of
companies they work for, Mathers says.
the institutional investors can no longer be ignored by compa-
nies. The 500 or so members of the Carbon Disclosure Project
have a lot of clout, and they are demanding to know about the
environmental practices of potential trading partners. After all,
these companies need to respond to their own shareholders, so
they must know if their partners are acceptably “green.” Con-
sumers themselves are much more interested in sustainable prod-
ucts, and as transparency increases more and more they will
easily be able to ascertain whom they want to buy from. Similarly,
employees of many companies “want to feel good” about the
shippers themselves control, he says.
The biggest role for carriers and providers is in solutions. “That’s
their business,” says Mathers. “Carbon is no different. We want to
see logistics service providers giving carbon footprint data to their
customers. But that’s not the end of it. That’s just the start of the con-
versation. They can take that type of information and provide a
suite of solutions to clients. The great thing about being framed
around carbon is that it’s comparable. The provider with the best
solution to reduce carbon the most, not just with the lowest price,
will be the one to win the day.”
The interviews for the Executive Briefings in this issue were conducted by SupplyChainBrain editors at major industry conferences and seminars. Videos of these exclusive interviews can be seen in their entirety at SupplyChainBrain.com.