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Sustainable logistics and CSR​

Représentation visuelle d'une logistique durable


Logistics and the environment, two seemingly opposing domains… But not incompatible!

“In 2023, the global logistics chain was responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the latest report from the United Nations. Sustainability is at the heart of discussions. While no industry is exempt, the supply chain is also impacted (and impactful, as evidenced by the above figure).

It’s undeniable that logistics pollutes and consumes resources. However, the scope for action in the sector is immense, and it tends to increase. Each player in the logistics chain has a role to play, on their own scale. Thus, the concepts of sustainable logistics and CSR[1] are emerging (as in many other sectors). The term “green supply chain” is also becoming more and more popular.

In the e-commerce logistics domain, the constant objective is to increase delivery speed. However, with the constant increase in supplies and goods flows, roads are more solicited than ever. Unless we actively optimize our solutions, we risk compromising our commitments to sustainable development, a concern to which we have all become increasingly sensitive in recent years. In other words, how can we make logistics a more sustainable sector with minimal ecological impact?

[1] Note that CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) concerns both the environmental and social dimensions. Here, we will focus on the environmental impact of the logistics chain.

Internal Assessment 🔎

First and foremost, each company should conduct an internal assessment of its operations by answering the following question: what is the ecological impact of my supply chain, and how can it be measured? This initial step enables the company to become aware of its impact and thus guide its decisions to minimize it as much as possible.

Every strategy implemented must align with the company’s activity, needs, resources, and goals. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy; each company must adapt its approach to its specific situation. Nonetheless, here are some possible action levers:

  • Choice of carriers (and types of transport)
  • Optimization of delivery routes and itineraries
  • Alternative delivery methods (such as “green” or electric)
  • Preference for grouped and/or local deliveries
  • Selection of packaging and reduction of empty spaces within packages
  • Awareness-raising among management and teams to encourage initiative-taking
  • Integration of reverse logistics

Often viewed as burdensome, these action levers offer tangible benefits. For instance:

  • Enhanced brand image (increased attractiveness)
  • Reduction of certain costs (due to improved energy efficiency)
  • Taking a stance on an issue that is bound to intensify and become more complex
  • Feeling of contributing to the ecological transition of the logistics sector

At Futurlog, we continuously strive to develop innovative solutions to deliver orders at lightning speed while also considering the environmental impact. Let’s delve a little deeper into the details.

Carbon-Free Delivery 🚚

We have recently made improvements in this area. Our goal is to offer carbon-free delivery, at a similar cost and within short timeframes. Currently available from our warehouses in the west (Sarthe, Mayenne) to the Paris region, we aim to expand this solution from the northern region to other cities such as Lyon or Marseille.

Optimization of transport distances ✅

We are currently working on reducing the average transport distances for parcels destined for end customers. We have observed that some of our clients replenish products, for example, from Italy only to redistribute them in… Italy. In such cases, a decentralized stock in Italy, managed by our suitable order management solution (OMS), would help to reduce costs and carbon footprint.

Slow Delivery ⏰

The implementation of Slow Delivery is a responsible approach that requires close collaboration with our clients. This method involves slower and less frequent delivery, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of logistics by decreasing the number of underutilized vehicles on the roads. Although it results in longer wait times for customers, it is offered to those willing to accept this trade-off to support environmental values. Currently, we have deployed it for activities where delivery time is not critical, such as subscriptions, but its usage remains limited.

Measurement of CO2 emissions 📈

To make progress in this area, it is essential to measure and quantify our actions. For each of their orders, we now offer our customers the possibility to know, in addition to the total direct costs, the associated CO2 consumption (cardboard packaging, wooden pallets, transport). Although we need to refine this measurement with some carriers, we believe that this data will help our customers become aware of the impact of their distribution choices on their carbon footprint. Coupled with the actions we propose (green delivery, optimization of distribution schemes, slow delivery), we hope to help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Best Green solution 💚

Currently, our clients have the option to allow us to select the most cost-effective transport solution for a specific type of service (for example, choosing the least expensive carrier for a 48-hour home delivery with signature to England). This comparison takes into account all fees (transportation, taxes, customs surcharges, etc.). More than half of our clients utilize this “Best Price” functionality.

We are currently developing a similar solution that would select the carrier with the lowest CO2 emissions for the required service. This choice would be made considering a configurable price tolerance.

Recycled/Recyclable Packaging ♻️

Another essential aspect of environmental efforts in the e-commerce sector lies in the choice of packaging. Packaging represents a crucial aspect in the logistics chain, and it can have a significant impact on the environment. Overuse of non-recyclable packaging materials, such as plastic, can contribute significantly to waste and pollution. To address this challenge, many companies, including Futurlog, are striving to adopt more sustainable packaging practices. One of these practices is to prioritize recycled and recyclable packaging.

At Futurlog, we work closely with our suppliers to develop packaging that is both functional and environmentally friendly. We also ensure to choose the right packaging based on the type of product, its shape, size, weight, etc. This ensures product safety while minimizing material waste and optimizing the size of shipped orders.

Follow-up and Adjustments 💯

Once these actions are implemented, it’s important to ensure ongoing monitoring to identify what works, what doesn’t work as well, what needs to be intensified, or conversely, what should be abandoned (if considered irrelevant). For this analysis, one approach could be to establish a comparison of the situation before and after implementing these actions or to verify the proper implementation of the recommended measures. The objective, of course, is to engage in a continuous improvement process. For more tangible monitoring, defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be highly effective. This allows, for example, the calculation of metrics such as recycling rates, distance traveled, etc., enabling comparison of these results over time. Finally, it’s important to identify correlations, meaning precisely determining the effectiveness of an action, its impact, and its outcomes.

At Futurlog, as a leading player in the ecommerce supply chain, we are committed to keeping up with our current partners’ progress and always looking for new solutions for our clients. We consider this commitment a responsibility, acknowledging that every advancement, no matter how small, is crucial for the future.

Click here  to learn more about our commitments!

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