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  • Ed Lawson

Tackling measurement & reporting of logistics footprint


An 1860s Chinese proverb states that 'the longest journey starts with a single step'. It comes to mind as I sum up some of the fascinating discussion Intent hosted this week with retailers and manufacturers. We were tackling the issues of

  • Setting logistics emissions reduction targets

  • How to measure and which metrics to apply

  • How to reduce emissions intensity, incorporate into decision making the impact of modal options

  • Mitigating emissions

The discussion highlighted the enormity of the challenge this can present, as well as the nascency of this journey for most. Challenges we heard about included

  • Complexity: you might have thousands of suppliers, many of whom don't have the data required of them

  • The risks of making claims about products can deter many from transparency: the risks of making claims are well understood....

  • Does it cost more? Can you make the case for higher costs for greener options? Hard to do when margins are slim

  • COVID disruption forced changes from the norm - airfreight had to be used

  • Complexity of standards - they constantly evolve, and it's a challenge to set standards and metrics that are science-based.

I was pleased to be able to involve Ian Powell, Solutions Consultant from Zencargo. Digital freight forwarder Zencargo is ahead of the curve on measuring, reporting and mitigating carbon emissions in logistics - because they have a data rich service that can aggregate data from all their customers, giving a carbon emissions intensity 'score'. This of course alleviates the significant burden of trying to do everything manually, the hard way. No more reinventing of the wheel! For most importers, using Zencargo's capabilities (or similar) will be by far the most effective and efficient way to gather and report this data, to accredited international standards. This certainty then enables you to be transparent and confident to state your performance to customers. As one of our retailer participants pointed out: 'it's important to be transparent to customers on what you're doing. Even if you are not leading the industry, or don't yet have the full picture, customers value this openness, and this creates brand loyalty'.

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