Shippers embrace new sustainability initiative

Shareholder pressure is forcing publicly-held manufacturers to adhere to the highest levels of sustainability, said industry analysts and experts speaking yesterday a the International Warehouse Logistics Association 2012 Convention & Expo in San Francisco.

By ·

“Going Green” is no longer a choice for supply chain managers – it’s a given.

Shareholder pressure is forcing publicly-held manufacturers to adhere to the highest levels of sustainability, said industry analysts and experts speaking yesterday a the International Warehouse Logistics Association 2012 Convention & Expo in San Francisco.

“As logistics providers we can’t afford to wait for the government or its regulators to tell us how to be responsible corporate citizens,” said IWLA president and CEO, Joel Anderson. “Fortunately, we have not been standing still on this issue.”

That point was reinforced by a panel of comprising shippers, consultants, and academic leaders who addressed association’s “Sustainable Logistics Initiative,” (SLI).

“This is not about ‘tree-hugging,’” said Bruce Carlton, president and CEO of the National Industrial Transportation League. “When the League was asked to partner in this initiative, we recognized that this represents a unique metric-driven breakthrough. It’s an ideal public/private solution to ongoing supply chain concerns.”

Dale Rogers, a professor of logistics and supply chain management at Rutgers Business School, said the “sustainability movement” is where the “quality movement” was decades ago.

“The pressure for quality standards came from investors back in the 1980s,” he said. “And we are seeing the same thing with sustainability today. One need only look at the Dow Jones Sustainability Index to see evidence of this. No major multinational wants to be removed from that list.”

As reported here late last year, Logistics SLI participants – 3PL facilities – report and engage in a rigorous and objective measurement process. Continuous improvement of each facility is the benchmark. The entire process is verified by an outside independent organization, The Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation.

Lisa Harrington and Richard Bank – two foundation directors – said that shippers are now seeking formal recognition of sustainable practices.

“SLI compares apples to apples,” said Harrington. “This is not a ‘one-off’ operation.”

Bank concurred: “Compliance goes right to the bottom line.”

He added that companies engaged with the foundation do not sacrifice trade secrets or operating practices.

“SLI is another check in the box, when it comes to protection of brand and image,” said Bank. “Companies today can’t afford not to have something like this.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

3PL · Logistics · Warehouse · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
The Internet of Things and the Modern Supply Chain
Learn today how the internet of things is transforming supply chain operations.
Download Today!
From the February 2017 Issue
As the new administration sends waves of uncertainly through the global trade community, this could be the best time ever for shippers to build an investment case for GTM. Here are five trends you need to watch if you’re about to put these savvy systems to work
Carrier Consolidation Keeps Shippers Guessing
Getting Value from the Cloud
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Advance your career with the fastest growing logistics certification – APICS CLTD
During this webcast presenters will give an overview of APICS and the new Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) designation. Learn how the CLTD program can help you stay on top of current trends and advance your career.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...

Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...
Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...