Is the logistics industry doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint?
The past two years have undoubtedly seen the air cargo and logistics industry as a whole step up green initiatives aimed at reducing business impact on the environment.
Just last week DHL Global Forwarding Announced It Will Join United Cargo’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Program, while Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has announced that two new freight forwarders will join its SAF initiative.
But is enough being done across the logistics sector to improve its environmental impact?
A recent survey published by the Foundation for Future Supply Chain (FFSC) and the Transport Intelligence (TI) consultant has certainly questioned the possibility for companies to do more.
The survey found that of the 184 large logistics companies that participated, “only” 57% – 105 companies – measure and report their carbon emissions data.
FFSC and TI say that if companies don’t measure carbon emissions, they can’t improve them.
âSince the transportation industry‘s success in reducing emissions will be critical to meeting the government’s net zero targets, the fact that such a large proportion of industry leaders have yet to begin measuring their emissions is a major concern, âsaid FFSC.
John Manners-Bell, CEO of TI and Founder of FFSC, said: âUntil companies start measuring emissions, it is impossible to launch programs to reduce greenhouse gases.
âSince the logistics industry’s success in reducing emissions will be critical to meeting the government’s net zero targets, the fact that such a large proportion of industry leaders have yet to started measuring their emissions is a major concern. â
The survey covered road freight, freight forwarders, contract logistics, express, postal and shipping companies and revealed discrepancies between different sectors.
Almost all shipping (93%) and postal (100%) operators were found to disclose their carbon emissions, while road freight companies (28%) were less likely to measure or publish data.
FFSC said the shipping and postal sectors were characterized by large players, with many companies being nationalized or listed on the stock exchange.
âThis generally means that not only are they likely to have strong governance, but also that many are forced to release data by government regulation,â the group said.
Road freight companies were comparatively smaller and more likely to be privately owned.
About 63% of freight forwarders surveyed said they measure and report their carbon footprint, express and parcel reached 68% and contract logistics was 47%.
However, there was good news from the survey: In 2016, only 34% of companies surveyed published carbon data, so there has been a 34 percentage point improvement over the past five years.
This, along with the range of initiatives launched over the past year, gives the industry some hope, although there is still a long way to go.