60% of supply chain executives are measuring their transportation and logistics emissions

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eyefortransport recently surveyed over 500 North American supply chain executives to establish where their greening efforts are being focused, and how theyre being managed and financed. 

The resulting Green Transportation & Logistics North American Report revealed that corporate commitment to environmental initiatives is growing, as is the need to invest in new technologies and harness industry partnerships.

With up to 75% of a companys carbon footprint coming from transportation and logistics, the focus of supply chain continues to highlight this area, where for many companies the opportunity to make the biggest difference exists.  With this in mind, eyefortransport asked respondents to pinpoint what they were doing to green their transportation and logistics, and what effects these initiatives have had.

The timely industry report revealed that the vast majority of respondents, 90%, think that over the next three years green issues will remain or become more important to their transport and logistics processes.  An amazing 9% identified green issues as their No.1 priority over the next three years, while only 1% expects a lessening of importance.  This push towards green is reported to be driven by a number of factors, including financial ROI (61%), public relations payback (78%), improved customer relations (83%), decreased fuel bills (70%), and improved supply chain efficiency (59%).

How do they plan to green their transportation and logistics?  Katharine OReilly suggests that greening is fundamentally a co-operative process, with majority of successful green initiatives being based on changing relationships with suppliers, partners and logistics providers.  Increasingly were seeing new partnerships being created for environmental reasons, and even competitors working together in order to stay competitive.  Indeed, 20.5% of respondents are currently using a logistics partner or service provider to help green their supply chain, and a further 26% are actively exploring the possibility of adding a partner company in a new collaborative effort to push environmental initiatives forward.

In order to survey the current landscape, respondents were asked what actual green initiatives have been implemented or planned in their companies.  The results revealed that 72% are or are planning to improve energy efficiency, 37% are redesigning warehousing and distribution center networks, and a dramatic 60% are measuring and/or reducing emissions.

Interestingly, amidst the slew of supply chain carbon measurement tools and technologies that have come onto the market in the last year, only a handful of respondents are already using an external measurement tool.  But while 16% have deployed an internal system for this purpose, another 30% are currently researching which software to use or purchase in the short term.  We were surprised by the high percentage of companies developing unique, internal systems for measuring the supply chain carbon footprint said eyefortransports SVP Environmental Research, Katharine OReilly.  With the diversity of off-the-shelf technologies recently introduced, we expected more adoption of some of the best-of-breed solutions.  What were finding instead are homegrown solutions and a large percentage of companies who are still shopping for the right product for their needs.  

The reported drivers for measuring the carbon footprint of supply chains include cutting costs, enhancing reputation, and the anticipation of tighter upcoming regulations.

To download the full 40pg. report for free visit http://events.eyefortransport.com/Green/free_report.shtml 

eyefortransport conducted the survey to celebrate the launch of its Green Transportation & Logistics - Sustainable Supply Chain Summit being held in San Francisco on October 15-17, 2008. 

Full details including the agenda and speaker list can be found at www.eft.com/SustainableSC

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