Today, opting for more sustainable business processes is not only the matter of regulatory compliance but also at the forefront of expectations consumers set for companies across various different industries. This is no different for the logistics industry, however, while the startup sustainable delivery business Paack is beginning to make an impact, it is fair to say that the developments of eco-friendly solutions have been somewhat slower in this area, for a number of reasons. So, why is that and what can be (and is already being) done to make the logistics industry more sustainable? Let’s find out.
The challenges of sustainability in logistics
The key issue that transportation businesses face is the vast amounts of CO2 emissions they contribute towards the environment while making thousands of deliveries every year. This is not made any easier by the ever-increasing consumer trend of online shopping and convenient refund policies – at this point, there is no reason to physically visit a shop when you can try something on in the comfort of your home and easily return what you don’t like.
In addition to this, the logistics industry also contributes to a number of other types of waste, including packaging waste, road accidents (leading to pollution in seas and oceans), noise pollution and so on. These issues are only focused on the actual deliveries too, without taking into account the other areas within their organisational infrastructure.
What can be done?
Trying to minimise the above environmental impact while also meeting the enormous customer demand for deliveries and being cost-effective, all at the same time, is no easy job. That is, perhaps, why it took this industry quite a few years to start developing suitable solutions but, being the pioneer business in this huge shift, Paack demonstrates a great example of how these issues can be solved – on top of other proactive actions.
First of all, it comes as a no-brainer that all transportation companies will have to modernise their fleet to environmentally-friendly vehicles, this way drastically cutting their carbon emissions. Of course, electric cars come with their own challenges, such as a more frequent charging of the vehicle, meaning that a suitable infrastructure and a good level of planning will need to be involved.
Moreover, Paack aims to significantly reduce waste produced during deliveries by offering biodegradable packaging, having their distribution centres operate sustainably and optimising their delivery routes in order to ensure the most effective journeys with as little unnecessary driving as possible.
As for other initiatives, the company puts great importance on the recycling of waste, whether it is generated during the production and deliveries of the goods or already after consumption. Paack offers to pick up second-hand clothing and items from customers, using the same delivery journeys, to handle and recycle the waste for them, in more sustainable ways.
Lastly, the process of measuring and assessing their environmental impact regularly is at the heart of Paack’s strategy, which helps them work towards the ‘carbon net zero by 2030’ goal more effectively.
Author: David Williams
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.