Sustainability thinking on the rise in logistics

SIRA-Workshop Munich  webIs the logistics industry ready to take proactive paths in sustainable logistics? Or are external requirements needed to make the companies move forward?
Do green and sustainable measures pay off at the end of the day? Logistics service providers who offer green solutions – have they realized competitive advantages yet? These and other questions have been discussed at a round table at the transport logistic 2013 in Munich, June 6th

20 participants from all over Europe agreed that sustainability thinking has gained more and more importance within the last 5 to 10 years. However, even “low-hanging fruits” which combine eco-friendly performance with immediate pay-back (like lessons on eco-efficient driving or energy efficiency in warehouses) are not picked to the fully possible extent. And the high impact needed can only be achieved with a change of perspective: More than the usual one year of return on investment has to be accepted to implement effective long-term sustainability measures.

A concrete example was discussed and examined: The Austrian “Logistics Manager of the Year 2012” Max Schachinger from Schachinger Logistik provided his entrepreneurial experience in the everyday implementation of sustainable processes. Schachinger Logistik does not only follow the “learning organization” approach but is currently building one of Europe’s greenest and most sustainable high-bay warehouses. The wood construction with passive house standards is a long-term investment exceeding regular cost-structures, but it already attracts high interest of customers. In addition, the entrepreneur put emphasis on some other benefits: “Investing in the future and in the value of resources – including your own energy – attracts junior staff and helps significantly in my recruitment activities”. 

Professor Grit Walther from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, presented an overview of the current discussion on internalizing external effects of logistics, disclosure and performance of sustainability measures in supply chains, and political objectives regarding CO2 emissions.

The open discussion, moderated by Klaus Krumme, director of the Centre for Logistics & Traffic, the interdisciplinary research and education centre of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, proved the high interest of all stakeholders in sustainability issues.

Starting from the logistics service providers’ point of view, participants agreed that simplifying the supply chains could be an effective and easy way to get ‘leaner & greener’. In many cases, there are just too many actors involved. On the other hand, the suggestion to put more effort in technological innovations to achieve a better performance in sustainability was not shared by all participants. Mr. Schachinger requested “to start from people’s needs and requirements. This is necessary to achieve a high quality of life instead of always starting the discussion from the technological point of view.”

The role of end-consumers as driving forces for the aspired paradigm shift towards more sustainability was addressed: “It is difficult to request more responsibility from the end-consumer” Prof. Walther stated. “Displaying the real costs of a product or the amount of emitted CO2 is not only too complex for the end-consumer because of missing standardization, but also because it is changing almost every day due to different suppliers or new transport routes.”

However, a lot of companies actively use the current “window of opportunity” to get their business ready for the next decade. For a real shift towards sustainability in logistics, shippers & logistics service providers will have to pull in the same direction. Greening the whole supply chain needs stronger cooperation and a joint effort of both, shippers & logistics service providers. The participants were not sure if this will happen in the near future: Shippers still tend to shorten contracts in order to bargain the cheapest offer. On the contrary, manufacturers start to redesign their supply chains in close cooperation with their logistics service providers. It was stated that the food, retail and pharmaceutical sector are increasingly sensitive to sustainability in supply chains and could act as a role model for other industries. An EU-wide lobbying platform for sustainable supply chains is currently initiated and will support the intersectoral understanding.

 

NEWS

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We are pleased to announce the first major forum dedicated to businesses, researchers and public authorities, working with the support of European Logistic Clusters to increase the competitiveness of logistics as a key economic function in the regional, national and international trade.

Save the date now and read more on the conference homepage!
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The event is organised by the European projects LOG4GREEN, LOG2020 and SoCool@eu in close cooperation with the European Technology Platform ALICE.
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April 15, 2014 - LOG4GREEN holds an invited session at the TRA Transport Research Arena in Paris  

“Managing Risk and Resilience in Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management for Urban Supply”

Speakers and panelists: 
Prof. Alan McKinnon, Kühne Logistics University Hamburg, Germany; Arhur van Gerven, Menlo Worldwide, Netherlands; Dr. Pierre Laconte, Foundation for the Urban Environment, Prof. Cathy Macharis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

The session will be chaired by Klaus Krumme, Centre for Logistics & Traffic, University of Duisburg-Essen and Prof. Metin Türkay, Koc University, Istanbul

Recent approaches on urban supply create a vision for a future where urban environments are cleaner, safer and more responsive to fast dynamics. READ MORE

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Bridging the Gap – Logistics Theory and Practice 2015 

Springer Series - Lecture Notes in Logistics Book

International Research Cluster Call for Contributions

DEADLINE April 30, 2014

Contributions from the Dinalog cluster should be sent to Henk Zijm (w.h.m.zijm@utwente.nl), contributions from the EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr to Matthias Klumpp (matthias.klumpp@pim.uni-due.de). Each contribution will un-dergo a thorough three-reviewer and editing process with a planned book release about mid of 2015.

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IuK-Technologien als Treiber für Kooperationen: EffizienzCluster und Fraunhofer IML richten ECITL 2014 aus

 


November 5 - 7, 2014  
EffizienzCluster & Fraunhofer IML organise ECITL 2014 

EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics are hosts of the 7th European Conference for ICT in Logistics which will be held in Dortmund. READ MORE

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At the 14th  Management International Conference in Koper, Slovenia, organised by the University of Primorska, Faculty of Management, Michael Plasch (Logistikum Steyr) presents : 

"Trans-Regional Logistics in Carinthia– Perspectives and Visions on Transport Infrastructure Development on Businesses and Public Level"

Read more...

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CALL for PAPERS for the INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS SCIENCE CONFERENCE in Dortmund - deadline January 2013!

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The first LOG4GREEN regional Joint Action Plan Workshop was held during the 4th International Conference on Transport Logistics InterTRANSLOG 2012 from 22.09 to 30.09. in Ukraine (Odessa), Bulgaria (Varna), Rumania (Constance), Greece (Salonika).

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Metin Turkay from Koc University, Istanbul,  was invited to give a talk about LOG4GREEN from the Istanbul perspective at the WIRE 2012. The meeting  is organized by the European Union Committee on Regions.

Download presentation:  L4G button yellow smallpix