Majority of Supply Chain Execs Measuring Transportation, Logistics Emissions

July 24, 2008
Improved customer relations and financial ROI are top reasons for increasing 'green' in supply chain.

With up to 75% of a company's carbon footprint coming from transportation and logistics, the focus of supply chain continues to be on how to become more 'green.' A recent survey conducted by eyefortransport revealed that corporate commitment to environmental initiatives is growing, as is the need to invest in new technologies and harness industry partnerships.

The report revealed that the vast majority of respondents, 90%, think that over the next three years green issues will remain or become more important to their transport and logistics processes. Nine percent identified green issues as their No.1 priority over the next three years, while only 1% expects a lessening of importance. This push towards green is reported to be driven by a number of factors, including financial ROI (61%), public relations payback (78%), improved customer relations (83%), decreased fuel bills (70%), and improved supply chain efficiency (59%).

"Increasingly we're seeing new partnerships being created for environmental reasons, and even competitors working together in order to stay competitive," explained Katharine O'Reilly, SVP Environmental Research, eyefortransport. The report showed that 20.5% of respondents are currently using a logistics partner or service provider to help green their supply chain, and a further 26% are actively exploring the possibility of adding a partner company in a new collaborative effort to push environmental initiatives forward.

Looking at specific iniatives, 72% are or are planning to improve energy efficiency, 37% are redesigning warehousing and distribution center networks, and 60% are measuring and/or reducing emissions.

Interestingly, amidst the slew of supply chain carbon measurement tools and technologies that have come onto the market in the last year, only a handful of respondents are already using an external measurement tool. But while 16% have deployed an internal system for this purpose, another 30% are currently researching which software to use or purchase in the short term. "We were surprised by the high percentage of companies developing unique, internal systems for measuring the supply chain carbon footprint," said eyefortransport's SVP Environmental Research, Katharine O'Reilly. "With the diversity of off-the-shelf technologies recently introduced, we expected more adoption of some of the best-of-breed solutions. What we're finding instead are homegrown solutions and a large percentage of companies who are still shopping for the right product for their needs."

The reported drivers for measuring the carbon footprint of supply chains include cutting costs, enhancing reputation, and the anticipation of tighter upcoming regulations. To download the full report visit

eyefortransport conducted the survey to celebrate the launch of its Green Transportation & Logistics -- Sustainable Supply Chain Summit being held in San Francisco on October 15-17, 2008.

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