Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Most Important Step for Truckers Seeking to Reduce Carbon Footprint

The most important step in reducing a transportation companies carbon footprint is ... See below, excerpt taken from WT 100.

The first thing companies should do is to examine the scope of their supply chains to see what they can measure directly and what they can measure indirectly, advises Mitch Greenberg, manager of Washington, D.C.-based SmartWay program developed by the EPA. “Transportation will always be an indirect measurement if a company does not have its own fleet, and this is where SmartWay can help a company looking to green its supply chain. Carriers who are SmartWay partners can help shippers reduce emissions along their supply chains.”

Green initiatives must make economic sense, notes Shan Hoel, director of communications for Seattle-based TransGroup Worldwide Logistics. He adds that TransGroup is building a clean-carrier preference into its base of SmartWay carrier sources.

Blanco at MIT suggests first examine and understand the scope of your supply chain to avoid risking any misplaced investments. For example, you might discover that the driving force of your supply chain includes third-party logistics providers and warehousing providers located in areas requiring heavy reliance on air-conditioning. “You might then decide, choose providers located in areas requiring less energy to maintain your products and flow them through your supply chain, even though that might mean increasing your miles.”

Although transportation costs in miles as a whole might increase, this decision produces a smaller carbon footprint. “This is a big, multi-year process and you have to be certain this is the direction you wish to go in because you will need to create the right incentives for everyone in your supply chain to follow your direction,” continues Blanco.

Supply chain profiles differ from company to company. “Some may be heavy on the raw materials side, where most of your carbon energy green effects will originate. On the other hand, if you are an auto manufacturer it might be best for you to invest in product design as opposed to investing in transportation because the carbon effects will be much higher during the use stage of your products. Here is where companies need to be bold because the public might perceive that because you are not changing all your facility’s light bulbs you don’t care about the environment. But it makes more sense to invest in product design when considering the long-view.”

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