MHIA Releases Results Of Sustainability Study During ProMat 2011

Finds that social responsibility is the number one driving force behind supply chain sustainability.

Charlotte, NC: The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) released the results of a recent research study on "Sustainability in Warehousing, Distribution and Manufacturing" during ProMat's Sustainability Educational Track last month in Chicago.

According to the report, 48 percent of respondents currently have a sustainability initiative underway and 88 percent say that sustainability will be of even greater importance over the next 18-14 months.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 78 percent, site social responsibility as the driver behind sustainability initiatives while 63 percent site resulting efficiencies. Fifty-nine percent indicated that sustainability initiatives were a management directive while 42 percent said their customers were demanding it.

Other findings include:

  • 92 percent say their companies believe that sustainable initiatives have the potential to save money and resources;
  • Other benefits of sustainability are bringing greater awareness to the market, tax incentives, utility rebates, and a competitive edge;
  • Green companies are investing in lighting fixtures/controls, recycling products and/or fans to circulate cool or warm air;
  • The material handling and logistics equipment and technologies that are most often cited as contributing to being environmentally stable are automatic identification, totes and containers and lift trucks;
  • Eight out of 10 respondents have a team for implementing and recommending green initiatives;
  • Almost half are involved in selecting green/energy efficient products and/or they are part of a green team.

MHIA conducted the survey in February 2011 with the cooperation of Modern Materials Handling and Affinity Research.The purpose of the research was to create a baseline for the state of environmental sustainability in warehousing, distribution and manufacturing and to help educate and raise awareness about the benefits and challenges towards the adoption of supply chain sustainability initiatives.