3 Ways To Reduce Supply Chain Environmental Impact
Together, shippers and carriers can significantly reduce a supply chain's impact on the environment. Knowing which questions to ask of your carriers and how to identify service providers with a green mindset may not always be clear though. Consider these three factors when looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint with the help of your carriers.
(1) Fuel & Energy Efficient Trucks And Operations
Technology and better engineering have helped make trucks friendlier to the environment over the years. Newer truck models put out lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) than older equipment. They also generally have better fuel performance, which can help you save money in transportation costs.
Some carriers are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their efforts and accountability in minimizing a fleet's carbon footprint. Averitt, for example, joined the EPA's SmartWay program as a founding member in 2004. Since then, the company has reduced its CO2 and NOx emissions.
In addition to working with carriers that utilize modern equipment, see if they also employ energy-efficient practices in other areas of their operations. From recycling tires to using energy-efficient lighting, there are many ways that a carrier can be conscientious in its day-to-day operations.
(2) Reusable Packaging & Containers
Packaging and other materials used to ship goods can also have a big impact on your company's carbon footprint. Each year, tons of packaging waste ends up in landfills around the world. Utilizing reusable shipping containers can be a great way to reduce the amount of materials that are thrown away after one use.
SalonCentric, for example, revamped its supply chain to include a returnable plastic tote distribution strategy. By switching to the reusable tote system, the retailer was able to reduce its reliance on standard corrugate boxes. Now, SalonCentric keeps up to 325 tons of waste out of landfills each year.
Watch The Video Below To Learn About SalonCentric's Distribution Strategy That Incorporates Reusable Containers
(3) Strategize With Environmental Footprint In Mind
When it comes to planning a supply chain strategy, keeping a green mindset may lead to other benefits as well. Using a shipping strategy, such as pool distribution, can help you keep your freight moving together as long as possible on just one truck instead of numerous ones. By consolidating and deconsolidating freight at optimal points, you can cut your supply chain's carbon footprint and potentially overall transportation costs.
In addition to identifying better distribution strategies, you may find that different modes of transportation are also viable for your needs. Intermodal services, for example, can also be employed to reduce environmental impact for long haul needs.
By working closely with your carriers to identify areas of potential improvement, you can ship more conscientiously of the environment!