Green Supply Chain Management and the 3PL
Ever since the first third party logistics (3PL) firm opened its doors 40 years ago, 3PLs and cold storage providers like Hanson Logistics have evolved and transformed to meet their customers’ needs. With more businesses paying close attention to the environmental impact of their supply chains—and finding ways to offset the carbon footprint associated with producing and distributing food products—3PLs play a vital role in making the transportation component “greener” than ever.
According to the Green Supply Chain Management, Environmental Collaboration and Sustainability Performance report, green supply chain management “integrates environmental thinking into supply chain management” and aims to minimize or eliminate waste. Hazardous chemical, emissions, energy, and solid waste all fall under the GSCM umbrella; so does the waste associated with product design, material resourcing and selection, the manufacturing process, the delivery of final product, and end-of-life product management.
Once implemented, green supply chains help promote lean operations, earn the respect of customers, business partners, and employees, and improve profitability.
“Green supply chain management plays a vital role in influencing the total environmental impact of any firm involved in supply chain activities,” write the report’s authors, “and thus contributing to sustainability performance enhancement.”
Already on the road delivering goods for multiple customers, 3PLs play a part in green supply chain management by helping to reduce emissions, consolidate loads, and reduce fuel consumption. Always looking for ways to improve fuel efficiencies, upgrade their fleets to modern standards, and run vehicles at full capacity, logistics providers help decrease the emission of greenhouse gases, create greater savings-per-mile, and cut down on the total number of trucks on the road.
These and other environmentally conscious efforts help measurably reduce shippers’ carbon footprints while also helping food manufacturers run more efficient supply chains. At Hanson Logistics, we know that the success of the value-added food sector is premised on a reliable cold chain that’s economical, compliant, and environmentally conscious. As the complexity of the agricultural and processed food supply chain continues to grow with the proliferation of flavor profiles, varieties, and wholesale and retail SKUs, the need to “think green” is sure to grow exponentially.
By focusing on emission reduction and fuel conservation, and by efficiently laying out their facilities in a way that helps reduce equipment usage, transit times, and energy, today’s 3PLs are leading the pack when it comes to “greener” supply chains. With efficiency and sustainability at the core of our business processes, we help food suppliers achieve their own green supply chain and sustainability goals while also helping them work smarter, better, and faster in today’s competitive business environment.