Growing CO2 Emissions Are Choking Your Bottom Line

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Updated on November 16th, 2021

Global warming is a tragic reality, and scientific evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that we humans are to blame. Rapidly melting glaciers, increase in instances of forest fires, global temperature spikes, frequent flash floods, intensifying hurricanes, and cyclones amongst other such events are being triggered by growing carbon emissions. Check out these stats to understand the impact of climate change-

  • A whopping 750 billion tons of ice is melting every year due to global warming
  • The combined ocean and land temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade since 1880
  • Climate change is one of the key factors to the severity and extent of forest fires in the US, Australia, and other countries. In 2020, there were 58,950 wildfires in the US, as compared with 50,477 in 2019.

One such activity that is responsible greatly for this impact is logistics. Even though the transportation and logistics industry forms the backbone of any economy, it’s also the most significant contributor to growing carbon emissions and hence climate change. 

Here are some alarming figures logistics stakeholders should be worried about.

  •  Transportation is responsible for 29% of global primary energy consumption and 25% of global energy-related CO2 emissions
  • Heavy transport (trucking, shipping, and aviation) greatly depends on oil, with IEA predicting that oil demand in aviation and trucking will soar more than 50% and 25% by 2040. It will lead to a steep rise in carbon emissions
  • An online report highlights that global shipping emits 1 billion tons of CO2 a year

In 2019 and 2020, when the world came to a standstill due to the pandemic, road transport witnessed up to 75% decline. Freight transport, commercial flight activities, and passenger aviation demand also dropped. COVID-19 only caused a temporary reduction in carbon emission; as the countries started lifting restrictions in 2021, the emission due to road, aviation, and shipping transportation started to rise at the pre-pandemic levels.

According to IPCC, researchers suggest that the world needs to bring down global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 to deter the harmful impacts of climate change. To reduce carbon emissions and achieve environmental sustainability, logistics and transportation companies need to act now.

Battling The Carbon Crisis: The Technology Imperative

To curb the CO2 emission, governments in different countries are putting regulations and making various policies for how a business should run its logistics and transportation operations. Let’s have a look at such acts and agreements- 

  • Paris Agreement: Adopted by 196 parties at COP 21, The Paris Agreement was entered into force in 2016. The aim of this agreement is to limit global warming well below 2°C, ideally 1.5°C.
  • The United States Clean Air Act: The act was passed in 1970, with further amendments in 1990, to control most common air pollutants and restrict hazardous air toxics. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that amendments and tightening regulations in the act have prevented over 230,000 early deaths by 2020. It is also rendering environmental benefits and decreasing global warming. 

The sustainability efforts that need to be adopted are not just a compliance burden but also a potential source of cost saving for businesses. Besides government policies, what can help logistics professionals to make resilient and sustainable supply chains is the greater adoption of modern supply chain and logistics management technologies. Let’s quickly glance at how businesses can curb cost and carbon emission with it:

1. Decreases miles traveled

Logistics software can minimize miles traveled by optimizing delivery routes considering real-time weather and traffic conditions, route history, delivery time window, delivery location, and ample other factors. Lesser miles mean lesser fuel consumption, and a driver can make multiple deliveries in the shortest time possible. It can help transportation and logistics businesses to come one step closer to achieving their sustainability goal.

An online report highlights reducing miles of travel, optimizing delivery routes, and avoiding traffic congestions can decrease harmful CO2 emissions by 37 million metric tons annually.

2. Reduces empty miles

Empty miles are caused when a vehicle delivering goods from the source to the destination comes empty in its return journey. It also impacts driver productivity and leads to wastage of fuel. Automated logistics solutions overcome this problem by ensuring that each vehicle’s capacity is utilized completely during each journey.

3. Boosts productivity with order clubbing and multi drop pickup

Logistics companies following traditional practices for delivery management might need a huge fleet to deliver orders. But with the smart order clubbing and multi-drop pickup feature of the logistics software, one delivery vehicle can perform multiple deliveries to save time, cost, and effort. It boosts productivity and reduces fuel consumption as well as shrinks carbon footprints.

4. Reducing returns

Delay in deliveries is one of the prime reasons behind the increase in the number of returns. And a customer initiating return means the entire journey is created from scratch, which takes a toll on the delivery budget.

In the US alone, returning goods causes 5 billion pounds of landfill waste, which further contributes to 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. These figures are expected to rise by 30% by 2030.

Apart from unexpected reasons like road accidents, vehicle breakdown, and others, a common cause for the delay is the incorrect or incomplete address. It happens mainly in the Middle East, where it is not easy to locate an address without the area code.

Advanced logistics solutions automate order dispatching, AWB generation, and label printing process that eliminates the chances of error in the delivery address. Besides, it also includes a geocoding feature that converts text into geographical coordinates (longitude and latitude) to make locating the address pretty simple.

Growing carbon emission is not just an environmental problem; it’s a business problem as well. Businesses need to choose the right approach that will not only create financial value but also help save the planet. Take the right step now to save the future!

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