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Supply Chain Carbon Emissions a Growing Concern

supply chain Carbon ImpactOne of the main concerns of businesses today is the impact human activity is having on the world’s environment. In particular, there is concern about the effect greenhouses gases are having on the atmosphere and Earth’s ambient temperature.

The UK is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 80% by 2050, a commitment established through the Climate Change Act (2008).  With increasing signs that global warming is occurring and is being induced by unintended consequences of human industry, more and more businesses worldwide are looking to lessen the impact their commerce is having on the environment. In particular, supply chain consultants urge companies to consider carefully what kind of greenhouse gases their supply chains may be producing.

So what are greenhouse gases?

greenhouse gasesBasically a greenhouse gas is any gas capable of trapping heat within the Earth’s atmosphere by either preventing heat from escaping, or by preventing sunlight from reflecting off Earth’s surface and back into space. The two main greenhouse gases produced by human activity are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). 

Given the increasing governmental and public pressure for businesses to regulate activities that may prove harmful to the environment, supply chain consultants are looking at new ways for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, it has been proven that transporting goods by air produces a lot more by way of carbon emissions than by transporting them by road.

  • Air produces 105x emissions per tonne transported
  • Road produces only 8x emissions per tonne transported

Meanwhile transporting them by sea or train produces less still, producing 1x and 2x respectively.

Other strategies to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint being suggested include such strategies as trying to maximise freight loads so as to get as much stock out with each run, or by strategically placing warehouses and depots to cut down transport times.

Total Logistics has recently released a whitepaper on The value of assessing the carbon impact of the supply chain as part of your business strategy.  This paper considers the value of assessing the carbon impact of the supply chain as part of business strategy, and demonstrates the advantages brought by understanding these impacts early.

For more information and advice on supply chains visit http://www.total-logistics.eu.com

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