Why Green Makes Good Business Sense

Why should food shippers bother implementing sustainable logistics practices? Because it will save them money, improve customer loyalty, and help keep the planet fit for human habitation. Food manufacturers are some of the largest consumers of freight...


Another example of smart, proactive sustainability is the case of Chiquita. It reduced the carbon footprint of its North American transportation/distribution network by 44 percent by working with its carrier base to adopt fuel efficient technology. It also implemented a new fuel surcharge system that provided transparency to all costs related to fuel.

Kraft Foods has become a poster child for sustainable initiatives. It has cut 6.2 million truck-miles and reduced truckload costs by four percent. The key to achieving these savings was maximizing the usage of weight-hauling capacity on its refrigerated outbound shipments.

One of the more high-profile recent examples is Walmart and Minute Maid, who decided they would work together to cut the miles traveled by Minute Maid’s Simply Orange Juice. Previously, the product was sent from a production facility in Florida to Minute Maid warehouses in Texas, Michigan, Florida or California, then to Walmart distribution centers. Now, it goes straight to the Walmart DCs. The companies estimate that this change will reduce 1,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually—equal to conserving 3,500 barrels of oil.

That’s a great outcome, but here’s another one that wasn’t part of the initial impetus—making the supply chain of orange juice more efficient added six days to the shelf life of the product.

Who knows what benefits you’ll find when you embrace efficiency as part of a push for logistics sustainability?

The best way to find out is to start now.

 

Jason Mathers is Project Manager at the Environmental Defense Fund, where—among other things—he oversees partnerships between EDF and corporations who want guidance and metrics around supply chain sustainability.

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