Measuring Industry’s Temperature

An Environmental Progress Report on European Logistics

Measuring Industry’s Temperature

An Environmental Progress Report on European Logistics

Measuring Industry’s Temperature: An Environmental Progress Report on European Logistics

A recent study by KLU’s new Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain (CSLS), carried out in partnership with The European Freight & Logistics Leaders’ Forum, indicates that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the logistics decarbonisation process in Europe is underway and getting integrated in companies’ strategic planning. Many businesses, however, are still at a relatively early stage in the process. 

The report summarises the results of a survey of over 90 senior executives to determine the extent to which their businesses are working to improve the environmental sustainability of their logistics operations, mainly by cutting carbon emissions. Logistics activities account for around 10-11% of global CO2 emissions and will be difficult to decarbonise because of their very heavy dependence on fossil fuel and high forecast growth rate.

Important conclusions of the study:

  • Around 30 percent of the companies are leading the way as they have sustainable logistics strategies in place or being implemented, have set absolute carbon reduction targets for their logistics operations and are capable of measuring related CO2 emissions at a disaggregated level.
  • Providers of logistics services appear to have a greater capability to manage the decarbonisation process than the users of these services. 
  • 40 percent of respondents (and 60% of those in leading companies) reckon that half or more of CO2-reducing measures also cut costs, confirming close alignment of environmental and commercial objectives.
  • The three most cost-effective ways of decarbonizing logistics are deemed to shifting freight from road to rail, improving vehicle utilization and switching transport operations from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
  • Three-quarters of the managers consulted reckon that digitalisation will have a transformational impact on logistics over the next five years with improvements to supply chain visibility, advances in transport management systems, innovations in vehicle routing and online logistics platforms expected to make the greatest IT contributions to logistics decarbonisation

The report includes short case studies in which eight companies outline sustainable logistics initiatives they have undertaken: P&G, Stora Enso, Kuehne+Nagel, Tata Steel, Saint-Gobain Isover and Transporeon, Vlantana, Bertschi, and LKW Walter. 

The report concludes with a series of recommendations for the various stakeholders in the European logistics industry.

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Prof. Alan C. McKinnon, PhD

Professor of Logistics

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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Dr. Moritz Petersen

Senior Researcher

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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