We humans live on the Earth, and everything we do leaves a footprint. Modern life does not always make us the best of neighbors. That is why ESG, or environmental, social, and corporate governance programs, have become popular among corporations hoping to persuade us that they’re better citizens of the planet than their competition. They do this because multiple studies have shown that consumers prefer to do business with companies that prioritize sustainability. It is popular to be proactive—or at least to appear to be.

However, when it comes to the environment, many companies are better at “greenwashing” than they are at saving the planet. Greenwashing is the practice of making a product, service, or operation look more eco-friendly than it actually is. For example, a business might trumpet green improvements in one focused area while ignoring other, dirtier parts of its operations.

Some companies buy carbon offsets—for example, funding tree-planting initiatives as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. But is planting trees where trees were going to be planted anyway really an effective environmental strategy? There’s been a growing backlash among consumers, who are beginning to discern between companies that merely claim to be earth-friendly and those that are actually protecting the planet.

The good news is that there’s a lot of room for our supply chains to green up their operations. Transportation accounts for 29% of America’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and 83% of that comes from trucks and other vehicles. The gradual replacement of internal combustion vehicles with electric models will eventually make a huge difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

But there are other strategies we can implement while we await electrification of our fleets—and many of them will save us money at the same time that they reduce our carbon footprint.

For instance, we can use planning tools to optimize loads and eliminate empty backhauls. We can use software to determine the shortest routes, and equip our trucks with speed limiters to save fuel and reduce pollutants. We can invest in tools that right-size the packages we send so that we’re shipping goods, not air.

We can shorten driving distances by using suppliers closer to networks and customers. We can locate DCs near final delivery points to reduce expensive and inefficient last-mile deliveries. We can build our facilities using energy-efficient construction materials, solar panels, and power-saving lighting systems.

So, instead of greenwashing, let’s do some “greensaving.” Let’s be real with efficient supply chains that save money while also improving things here on good old planet Earth.

ESG, SDG, CER, GRI, FSC, LCA, WELL  Read More