Logistics business: The EU must work in harmony to achieve green supply chain

Pattullo pointed out that the logistics market sector was accountable for over 5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and called for collaborative industry action.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 22, 2010 - SCMR Editorial

John Pattullo, CEO of CEVA Logistics today appealed to the industry to work together to establish global standards for sustainable logistics during the 27th German Logistics Congress in Berlin. In his presentation on ‘Supply Chain Greening – the awkward truth’ Pattullo pointed out that the logistics market sector was accountable for over 5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and called for collaborative industry action.

“In recent years many countries have issued environmental legislation targeting businesses. However, following Copenhagen, we still have no global agreement or clear global targets. Since consistent state regulations are not to be expected anytime soon, all those involved within logistics need to work collectively to develop globally accepted regulations,” said John Pattullo.

But “collaboration” has been misunderstood by theorists, said Dr. Steven Melnyk, professor, supply chain management, Michigan State University. Speaking at last week’s Supply Chain Council’s executive summit in Houston, he noted that word can be loaded.

“Rather than ‘working together,’” he said, “it often is interpreted as ‘working with your enemy.’”

Still, he said, when it comes to achieving a single sustainable goal, such competitiveness is self defeating.

Pattullo obviously agrees, having highlighted that the complex network of regulations is currently an obstacle for logistics companies in establishing a sustainable supply chain. Voluntary agreements to reduce emissions are only active in some regions of the world and the logistics industry would therefore clearly benefit from cooperation with competitors, peers and customers to develop consistent global guidelines for a sustainable supply chain management.

“Sustainable logistics is not necessarily a management top priority, and in today’s economy, many customers are unwilling to pay a premium for green transport. Despite these obstacles the logistics industry must support change towards sustainable services.” Pattullo said.

A founding member of the Alliance for European Logistics (AEL), CEVA is currently working collectively with other global players and policy makers to develop consistent regulations for the transport and logistics sector. The initiative is financing research and transport related efforts to effectively and efficiently reduce CO2 emissions.

“In the recent past we were able to considerably improve the achievements of our customers through ‘green’ procurement and innovative solutions along the entire supply chain. CEVA will further increase the measurement of CO2 consumption at the base level. Ultimately, we are committed to working together with our customers and peers to agree a consistent and business case based approach,” Pattullo concluded.



About the Author

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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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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