Survey Says Supply Chain Execs Are Measuring Emissions

The "Green Transportation & Logistics North American Report" reveals that corporate commitment to environmental initiatives is growing, as is the need to invest in new technologies and harness industry partnerships, according to a July 22 press release.

The report is based on a survey by eyefortransport of more than 500 North American supply chain executives.

With up to 75 percent of a company's carbon footprint coming from transportation and logistics, the focus of supply chain continues to highlight this area, where, for many companies, the opportunity to make the biggest difference exists.

The report revealed that the vast majority of respondents, 90 percent, think that over the next three years green issues will remain or become more important to their transport and logistics processes. An amazing 9 percent identified green issues as their No.1 priority over the next three years, while only 1 percent expects a lessening of importance. This push toward green is reported to be driven by a number of factors, including financial return on investment (61 percent), public relations payback (78 percent), improved customer relations (83 percent), decreased fuel bills (70 percent), and improved supply chain efficiency (59 percent).

How do they plan to green their transportation and logistics? eyefortransport's Senior Vice President for Environmental Research Katharine O'Reilly said, "Increasingly we're seeing new partnerships being created for environmental reasons, and even competitors working together in order to stay competitive." Indeed, 20.5 percent of respondents are currently using a logistics partner or service provider to help green their supply chain, and a further 26 percent are exploring the possibility of adding a partner company in a new collaborative effort to push environmental initiatives forward.

In order to survey the current landscape, respondents were asked what actual green initiatives have been implemented or planned in their companies. The results revealed that 72 percent are or are planning to improve energy efficiency, 37 percent are redesigning warehousing and distribution center networks, and a dramatic 60 percent are measuring and/or reducing emissions.

"We were surprised by the high percentage of companies developing unique, internal systems for measuring the supply chain carbon footprint" said 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 free report, visit

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