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Green logistics applies a three-dimensional life cycle approach, as opposed to the traditional one-dimensional, economics only focused approach. Following the three-dimensional approach does not necessarily means that the level of effort and times will increase by three. However, as the organisation reduces its impact on the environment and support positive social behaviours, there may be a return on overall “value for money.” 

Pillar

Types of effects   

Economic

  • Economic regeneration
  • Sustainable economic development
  • Development of Environmental Management Systems
  • Total cost of ownership and life cycle costing
  • Value for money
  • Poverty reduction

Environmental

  • Environmental resource management
  • Urban planning
  • CO2 reduction
  • Alternative energies: e.g.: solar, wind
  • Water management
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Marine resources management
  • Protection of ecosystems
  • Pollution and waste management

Social

  • Human rights
  • Clean drinking water
  • Food security
  • Fair pay and labour law protections
  • Anti-child labour and forced labour laws
  • Fair trade
  • Health and safety
  • Gender equality including universal education
  • Child mortality and maternal health
  • Healthy lives and well-being for all

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Area of Activity

Actual Situation

Steps to Improve

Benefits

Transport

Fleet causing high amounts of pollution, air quality reduced.

Measure the movements, costs and maintenance of transport to gather data about their use. Invest accordingly in proper maintenance depending of the needs and the selected strategy. This might include: redrawing shorter routes, investing in green vehicles, etc.

Lowered emission transport units, well maintained and following repair plans that reduce environmental and economic cost by increasing the efficacy.

Distribution

Distribution channels not well organised or with big inefficiencies.

Plan supply chain and procurement taking into account the cost to manage the waste produced.

Effectively connect places of production with the distribution points, including using proximity to storage/distribution points as a selection criteria.

Assess the production line or third level distribution channels of your suppliers for waste or misuse.

Faster deliveries, increased flexibility for late requests, and time savings on managing waste.

Procurement

Price based selection that potentially hides unethical or not environmentally friendly activities.

Create and apply selection criteria that matches the ethical and environmental policies of the organisation.

Research initiatives that other organisations are putting in place and adapt them to your situation.

Reputation increase.

Storage

Product loss by degradation caused by poor storage condition, or damages during in-storage movements.

Make improvements in the infrastructure to facilitate cargo movement. Use solar light and natural ventilation.

If the infrastructure is going to last more than two years, invest in solar or wind power sources and manage your power consumption. (Power Supply section).

Save money and time.

Packaging

Excessive use of non-biodegradable materials.

Choosing the appropriate mode of transport with enough time, to be able to understand how the cargo is packed and labelled. Try to find a good compromise between safety and handling; Reduce packaging or/and use reusable or biodegradable materials. Example - corrugated cardboard and other forms of paper-based packaging.

Resources saved.

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Economic

Social

Environmental

Previous/current experience Accreditation by independent certification organisation.

Accreditation by independent certification organisation to a standard.

Impact of materials used and processes of production.

Productivity/service capacity.

Evidence that workers know their rights and responsibilities at work.

Impact of packaging.

Design robustness/innovation.

Presence of independent trade unions or effective management/worker committees which address workers’ priorities, including pay, hours and conditions.

Impact of transport (air freight from Europe may be greater than sea freight from Asia/Africa).

Whole-life costing of product

Sub-supplier practices and conditions.

Impact of product life cycle.

Switching cost of current supplier.

Participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives that educate and change practices to address ingrained problems.


CIPS, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Chain, (2013). Ethical and sustainable procurement.

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Formed in ion the bases of ISO 26000 for Social Responsibility, sustainable procurement relies on:

  • Assess the organisation organisational “buying culture” ; - Understand how and from who the organisation buys/sells to, the control over sub-suppliers as well as sub-supplier capacities to accommodate green demands, and if green requirements are realistic and expressed clearly.
  • Know the organisation supply chain ; - Evaluate the cost of the supply chain, and the proportion of the revenue that goes towards paying suppliers. Assess the suppliers societal and environmental impact.
  • Think strategically; Consider the risks and opportunities of working more closely with the main suppliers across the whole life cycle of products and services.
  • Get buy-in from top management ; - Ensure key decision makers are on board and aware of the benefits, opportunities, and possible consequences of implementing sustainable procurement into the organisation.

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