01 November 2010

Logistics Best Practice Guide

This is an extensive and thought-provoking review of existing best practices in the area of freight logistics. CLECAT has produced this guide for its own Member Companies. The Logistics Best Practice Guide is a compilation that is meant to be inspirational: it will guarantee interaction with a wide range of companies and publicity in exchange for information: your efforts to promote sustainable logistics solutions will be rewarded by being publicised and disseminated through the CLECAT information network. 

This will be a living document made publicly available. It is also evidence for the public that the industry is aware of its environmental impact and has the intention to deal with it effectively. Not only does the Best Practice Guide include many specific examples, it also contains a general section, providing food for thought for new ideas and/or incentives to report to CLECAT any positive achievements in sustainable business practice.

The challenge to mitigate the consequences of human activities on the environment has become one of the major concerns characterising and influencing today’s business world. The battle to preserve our environment has gained momentum over the years and is now part of the policy of a growing number of enterprises. The ongoing battle against climate change owing to GHG emissions has also come to the fore in policy and business alike. These two different yet intertwined predicaments have not failed to impact upon logistics activities, questioning some of the basic principles of this discipline. Transport services appear to be one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions and some of the transport emissions are also pollutants. This is however an industry, which is, on the one hand, indispensable for growth and employment and yet on the other hand has enduring difficulties freeing its dependence on fossil fuels .

This being said, logistics is not only transport: a more wide-range view on what can be done to improve the environmental performance of logistics can contribute to our industry’s footprint in an area where legislation is finding it increasingly difficult to step in. 

The need to decrease emissions, but also to save energy and money, should be at the heart of our companies’ thinking. Luckily these needs – lessening emissions, decreasing the use of energy and saving money – are connected and may respond to the same drivers: not only the logistics service provider, but also the transport user are likely to benefit from savings that may be environmental as well as economical. There is an abundance of possibilities and many companies have already found ways to improve their business models with individual solutions, which have the potential to be developed into best practices. Their experience is the source of the best practice models that benefit and encourage others to do the same. 

In other words we are not trying to re-invent the wheel in this booklet: we are trying to disseminate the best practices that we have managed to collect from different sources, and make them available to others, whether they are logistics service providers or users. Whilst this may appear a minimalist approach, we believe it can be extremely helpful in an area where sharing knowledge and know-how is crucial.

The Logistics Best Practice Guide can be downloaded in the attachments.