Going Green and Saving 'Green'

Environmental issues can go hand-in-hand with profit margins


With the 2011 Green Supply Chain Awards, Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine is recognizing leaders that are forging ahead with a range of sustainability initiatives having a direct impact on the supply chain. They are making sustainability a core part of their supply chain strategies.

The Awards also highlight a variety of approaches to sustainability and the range of strategies and solutions that companies are employing to incorporate sustainability in the supply chain. And, finally, the Green Supply Chain Awards puts the spotlight on concrete results that many of these leaders are seeing thanks to their sustainability initiatives.

Supply & Demand Chain Executive received 120 submissions for the 2011 Green Supply Chain Awards through an open nomination process. Nominations were made in two categories: companies implementing sustainability strategies within their own supply chains, and providers of supply chain solutions and services that are assisting their customers in achieving sustainability goals. The magazine’s editorial staff reviewed the submissions based on the clarity and content of the goals and strategy, the extent of the steps being taken, and the impact of the results to date, as well as projected results.

The recipients of the 2011 Green Supply Chain Awards are listed below, along with summaries of their projects.

 

Featured Leader

DB Schenker Goes Beyond Stringent EU Regulations in Environmental Issues

 

In 2007, member states in the European Union agreed that the EU is to use 20 percent renewable energy in the future and that it must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20 percent in 2020.

 

DB Schenker, (www.dbschenker.com) the Essen, Germany, subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn is a leader in all environmental areas, but casts a particular focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The intermodal specialist developed strategies and solutions along the entire supply chain to reduce emissions during the transportation of goods—whether rail, land, ocean or air.

 

Schenker has developed solutions along the entire supply chain, including low carbon freight transport, comprehensive staff training, and new, environmentally friendly technology. It also has introduced across-the-board training for its more than 91,000 employees in 130 countries. It formed an Eco Excellence Team to stress its company-wide philosophy of environmental responsibility and climate protection.

 

“This team organizes regular environmental training courses for all of our staff, and explains to them how they can save energy and resources in their daily work,” Schenker writes in its environmental material. For example, all 20,000 truck drivers who work in Europe on the company’s behalf are trained in fuel-saving driving, as are more than 4,500 train drivers. The company also conducts energy audits in its logistics centers.

All of this is embodied by the ECO2PHANT, which is designed to show exactly by how much customers can reduce their carbon emissions. The ECO2PHANT is the company’s new unit of measurement for environmental protection. Each ECO2PHANT stands for five tons of carbon dioxide reduced—about as much as a real elephant weighs. The ECO2PHANT not only enables customers to choose how much carbon dioxide they reduce, but also the way in which they do it. Depending on the route, emissions can be reduced, offset, or even completely avoided.

The company designed a tool, the Eco Optimizer, to analyze its (and its customers and partners) global CO2 output for the end-to-end supply chain, allowing constant observation of emissions. It is based on data from goods shipments and logistics services for the selected period. This means that customers can always see the extent to which their environmental targets have been reached and makes it quantifiably easier for them to demonstrate it to their customers and the public.

In other areas, the company’s Eco Charter is flying Boeing 777s with plans to soon use Boeing 747-8F aircraft, which feature lower consumption engines, aerodynamically optimized winglets on the wing tips, Ultralight carbon-fiber structures and greater load volumes. Schenker also is using more direct flights on the major trade routes to avoid additional fuel-guzzling takeoffs and landings.

Schenker’s Eco Plus for rail transport is available for all routes within Germany, saving about 85,000 truck journeys daily, and almost 20,000 tons of CO2. For its customers, they calculate the amount of electricity transport consumes on the basis of distance and the goods involved. They then draw up a plan using 100 percent renewable energy. DB Energie GmbH purchases the necessary amount of renewable energy and feeds it into the rail power network. No CO2 is produced. In addition, 10 percent of the earnings from Eco Plus are reinvested into construction or expansion of plants that generate and store electricity from renewable sources.

Eco OceanLane is reducing CO2 emissions by up to 50 percent on container ships. On non-time critical routes carrier curb their speed because a 15 percent reduction saves up to 30 percent in CO2.

Schenker bases its warehouse construction, what it terms Eco Warehouses, on such global green standards as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council). They include heat-insulation techniques, use of rapidly renewable and locally available resources, installation of solar power and rainwater harvesting techniques, optimal location and more. They also select eco-friendly suppliers and material handling equipment.

 

2011 Green Supply Chain Award Enablers

BaswareBasware (www.Basware.com) is committed to helping companies eliminate the vast amounts of paper received and printed by delivering automated enterprise purchase-to-pay solutions and helping companies embrace e-invoicing. For example, Lloydspharmacy, a United Kingdom chain, receives 1.2 million invoices annually. By moving to an electronic invoicing system, they will save more than 419 trees and 3.5 million pieces of A4 paper year.

BrightpointBrightpoint (www.brightpoint.com) provides supply chain (forward and reverse logistics) repair, refurbishment and distribution services for wireless carriers, service providers and manufacturers. In 2010, the company handled more than 99 million devices on a global basis to help clients reach their green goals. The company closely monitors its impact on the environment by tracking and reporting facility-level consumption of electricity, natural gas, water, recycling services and trash, leveraging the data to make business decisions.

Cass Information Systems (www.cassinfo.com) uses technology to provide cost and processing efficiencies for its customers, which in turn help the customers achieve their own green supply chain goals. Solutions include accelerating the amount of electronic interchange between the customer, their freight carriers and Cass, resulting in significant reduction of paper transactions in shipping documents, billing, payment transactions and information delivery.

DSC Logistics (www.dsclogistics.com) has established a Green Team that is at the core of its strategy. The team, called the Supply Chain Council, provides suggestions for future initiatives and remains closely connected to the needs and goals of customers. For example, because distribution for a number of their customers calls for a high volume of corrugate, DSC named corrugate recycling as one of six 2010 initiatives. As a result, 100 percent of DSC Logistics Centers no recycle the product. On such center recycled about 36.6 tons of corrugate in a single year.

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