Top 20 Green Supply Chain Partners

Food Logistics salutes 20 companies that are helping the industry become greener.


FST is a 3PL that develops partnering programs mirror the same goals its customers. For example, FST will reduce the carbon footprint of a customer’s energy usage by replacing all light fixtures with new Energy Star lighting and motion activated lighting to reduce overall usage. The company will also recycle pallets and packaging, maintain cooling units frequently to ensure efficient usage and add new insulation to cooled areas of the warehouses.

 

8. Garick LLC, Cleveland

Reclamation, recycling

Garick, a distributor and processor of sustainable natural resource product, converts hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from landfills and reproduces it into organic mulches, soils and biomass fuel. The company is working with food processors and retailers as well as food service operators and restaurants to minimize their waste while reducing what is delivered to landfills.

About 72 percent of food waste can be diverted from landfills and turned into compost, but, in the U.S., only about 2 percent of organic waste is composted. Composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a humus rich soil amendment known as compost. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, breads, unbleached paper, napkins, coffee filters, eggshells, meats and newspaper can be composted. If it can be eaten or grown in a field, it can be composted

Garick’s composting facilities and partnerships are located throughout the U.S. An expert in composting, the company is an active member of the United States Composting Council (USCC) and the Mulch and Soil Council (MSC). It measures the tonnage of waste picked up and composted on a monthly basis. To date, Garick reports that composted food waste has tripled in the last three years.
Composting 21 million tons of food waste has the same environmental benefits as taking 2,000,000 cars off the road.

 

9. Green Express, Atlanta

Temperature controlled rail transportation

Railroad transportation is the greenest way to ship product around the country. Green Express is a dedicated refrigerated train that provides regularly scheduled service into selected areas throughout the U.S. The company can deliver perishable product five to seven days earlier than by traditional means, such as ocean vessels and tractor/trailers. Increasing the freshness of perishables by up to seven days gives those products that much more time on retail shelves. In addition, being in a controlled environment means better quality products and minimized waste while reducing a product’s carbon footprint by as much as two-thirds.

This sustainable approach means lower cost to shippers and retailers—as well as a cleaner distribution channel. Green Express helps its customers reduce in transport cost per pallet; reduce handling costs; reduce total miles; reduce on CO2 emission per pallet; reduce in lead and transit times; and an experience an increase in freshness.

10.  Inmar Inc., Winston-Salem, NC

Third-party logistics provider

Inmar reverse logistics services help further clients’ sustainability goals in a number of ways. Its re-marketing services, for example, kept 181,250,000 pounds of material out of landfill in 2010. And, its donation program resulted in 2 million boxes of food product being provided to create 6 million meals for the needy in 2010. This product otherwise would have gone to waste. Supply chain services, such as packaging studies have helped clients reduce product packaging, while ensuring that new more environmentally friendly packaging does not increase damage to product (which ultimately results in waste).

Most recently, Inmar has implemented supply chain technology with transportation analysis capabilities that enables Inmar to determine for its clients the most efficient distribution of product in the forward and reverse supply chains by utilizing the appropriate facilities within our facility network or by optimizing the client’s own network of facilities. Clients can validate that their returns process uses the most efficient routes and combination of facilities. The results calculated have been compelling within a relatively short timeframe.

For example, by implementing better transportation sourcing and networking for distribution, Inmar determined that a large mid-west grocer could save 10 million miles per year. Through returns network optimization, another client has the potential to save 3.7 million miles per year. And, the technology shows that another could save approximately 200,000 miles per year through implementing an improved returns network. Through these clients alone, nearly 14 million miles of transportation can be eliminated—a measurable and significant reduction in carbon footprint.

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