IMPERIAL LOGISTICS has received a Special Mention at the 2011 Climate Change Leaders Awards. The accolade acknowledges the group’s contribution to the ‘green logistics’ evolution as a supply chain leader through its focus on greater vehicle, driver, electricity and waste efficiency, including valuable support through initiatives with government, industry and academia.
“As ‘green’ increasingly becomes the factor in operating a supply chain, companies that outsource these functions will inevitably rely on Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) to help them achieve their ‘green’ goals,” says Abrie de Swardt, marketing director of Imperial Logistics.
“Transportation may be one of the most difficult areas of the supply chain to make environmentally friendly. However, it is not an impossible task if the LSP takes a pragmatic approach that is led by collaboration. Working together with 2011 customers, suppliers, policy makers and even competitors is imperative for such a challenge,” he says.
Citing the 7th Annual State of Logistics(tm) survey, he says that 23 million tons of greenhouse gasses in South Africa were emitted due to land freight transport activities in 2009.
“This amounts to 49% of transport emissions and just under 5% of total emissions for the country,” he says. Road freight contributed 20.3 million tons and rail 2.7 million, which translates into R4.6 billion and R0.6 billion in costs to the environment.
Speaking at the Climate Change Leadership gala dinner held in Sandton, Dr. Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace, emphasised the need for development of renewable energy.
“We are not harnessing even 5% of renewable energy in Africa. What is at stake here is securing the future of our children and grandchildren. Failure to do this is a betrayal of our very own children,” he said
Imperial Logistics’ move to ‘green’ is also taking place at a practical level. For example, member company Imperial Cargo recently relocated to its new, ‘green’ national logistics hub in the Western Cape. The new office building for the company’s 120 employees runs on electricity generated by the CES solar system on the warehouse roof.
“All IT on the site therefore runs on clean power. Motion sensors tell the building where the people are, so lights get switched off in empty offices. On cold days when there is extra capacity within the solar system, the building switches off some air conditioning from outside grid power to the solar system,” explains De Swardt.
“Business must be accountable for its environmental impact. In our sector, through making the right procurement decisions, working closely with employees and business partners and the intelligent application of supply chain modelling aided by the necessary tools, excessive carbon emissions are eliminated. This is the key to leaner and greener supply chains,” he concludes.
Well done to Imperial Logistics on the award. It’s certainly hard at times to go the ‘green’ route but your efforts are being recognised. Over and above that – and more importantly , you are making a difference.
As Dr Naidoo says: “What is at stake here is securing the future of our children and grandchildren. Failure to do this is a betrayal of our very own children.’