The logistics industry is undoubtedly an environmental burden - that much is clear. Wherever packaging and transportation takes place, energy is required, and most of it is still fossil fuel-based. So how can we as e-commerce fulfillment providers talk about sustainability? Because we are aware of our responsibility, we can do a lot about it, and are already implementing many new things on a daily basis.
Here you can find out everything about green logistics and what steps we and our shipping partners are taking to minimize CO2 emissions.
What Does Green Logistics Mean?
An industry that relies on vehicles that emit carbon dioxide cannot be considered sustainable per se; one has to be very careful not to ‘greenwash’. However, we can start at every logistical step - from the transport of goods, to the storage and picking of products and the choice of our shipping partners, who are committed to climate neutrality. Especially in one of our core activities, the packaging of products, we have always paid attention to the use of recyclable material from regional manufacturers.
There are various ways to conserve resources and operate much more sustainably as a green logistics provider.
First and foremost, the processes in the warehouse must be made more sustainable:
- Our in-house developed logistics management tool, the Logsta Connector, is fully designed for efficiency. The warehouse space in the fulfillment centers is used in such a way that our employees have to walk as short a distance as possible. Picking takes place on-the-go: Connector automatically finds the best route through the warehouse to pick goods as efficiently as possible and avoid unnecessary wandering and redundant runs.
- Buildings are also a major factor of greenhouse gas emissions. Our newest fulfillment center in Enzersdorf an der Fischa in Austria is one of these modern warehouses, where sustainability was a major concern already at the construction stage.
The non-profit organization of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) has awarded the warehouse its Gold Standard. This DGNB certification looks at numerous aspects of a building and evaluates it according to whether resources have been conserved and the environment considerations are addressed through targeted measures.
These are, for example:
- High-quality materials and future-oriented building structure planned for the long term.
- Use of modern lighting such as LEDs, which last longer and consume less energy
- Efficient heating and cooling systems - climatically separated zones and high-quality building insulation
- Cooperation with sustainable energy suppliers
- Use of solar energy systems
Holders of this certification include companies such as AUDI, REWE Group, Deutsche Bank, BASF, and many more!
How Sustainable Logistics Succeeds
Because they are carried out thousands of times a day, all processes in a sustainable fulfillment center really add up. The goal is to create ecologically-efficient structures and minimize unnecessary environmental impact wherever possible.
It's the little things that matter - a few examples of "greener logistics" include:
- Electronic dispatch of invoices, which saves vast amounts of paper.
- Digital inventory management and picking in our warehouses: Everything is done digitally via scanner - paperwork is a thing of the past.
Where fulfillment providers can make another big contribution to sustainability in logistics is the shipping boxes and packages, thousands and thousands of which we send out every day.
We try to go as plastic-free as possible and only use paper-based filling material for packaging, which is completely biodegradable; plastics are taboo here. In addition, we work with local manufacturers for our cardboard boxes, which are produced regionally and are only a short distance from our warehouses. Nothing has to be shipped from far away, which helps to improve the CO2 balance.
If we look around us - everything around us was produced somewhere and had to be transported to where it is now. Be it food, things for daily use or various products from online shops. The vehicles that bring our goods from one place to another still mostly go on roads and use fossil fuels - this is difficult to avoid. Shipping service providers play an important role in this respect.
All shipping partners we work with offer strategies to minimize CO2 emissions and invest in environmental protection programs worldwide.
The goal of all shipping services is to ship in a completely climate-neutral manner. This means that the environmental impact of the parcels is measured and, accordingly, financial resources are invested in clean-energy projects that sustainably reduce the environmental impact. In this way, we strive to achieve an ecological balance. Most of our shipping partners have been doing all of this for a long time and at no extra charge to their clients.
In Germany, we send most of our parcels with DHL. With its GoGreen program, DHL offsets the necessary greenhouse gasses by investing in various climate protection projects. In this way, Deutsche Post & DHL takes direct responsibility for the environmental pollution that has occurred. By 2050, our shipping partner aims to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero through comprehensive sustainability programs.
In Austria, we send many parcels with the postal service. When it comes to environmental protection, Austrian Post focuses not only on reducing its own emissions - i.e. on CO2-neutral delivery - but also on the entire value-added chain, including:
- Optimization of offices and logistics centers
- Delivery vehicles used
- Freight forwarders and other transport services
As a result, Austrian Post operates in a CO2-neutral manner throughout Austria and offsets the greenhouse gasses generated by investing in TÜV-approved climate protection projects.
GLS, DPD and many other carriers also make their contribution in terms of green logistics by seeking to offset the resulting CO2 footprint by financing environmentally-related projects. In this way, they also work toward climate-neutral shipping.
We are all in the same boat, living on a planet with finite resources that we need to preserve. It doesn't start and end with sustainable logistics or climate neutrality - no one can run away from responsibility. Everyone can do something and every contribution has a positive impact on the environment.
Do you have questions about green logistics? >> Just send them to us.
We look forward to your feedback.
Seite: CO2 neutrality in Austria
Seite: DGNB certification: For demonstrably better buildings and quarters
Seite: German Sustainable Building Council
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