It is going to take a team-based, multi-modal approach to stem the tide of climate change. From heavy industries to public consumption, we all have a role to play in lowering global emissions to a sustainable level as stipulated by the Paris Agreements. And while climate change may represent an existential threat to people from all walks of life, it’s not too late to reverse the trend if we all work toward a common goal. Green logistics practices are readily achievable with industry-wide buy in. That includes supply chain management, logistics, and 3PL providers. Together we can influence the sustainability practices that benefit everyone!

We’ve compiled a list of 10 supply chain-related stats highlighting the severity —and the hope— surrounding the climate crisis. After all, it takes everyone in the global supply chain to affect supply change!

1. The Vast Majority of Consumers Support Green Initiatives

There’s good news on the horizon. An overwhelming coalition of consumers supports green supply chain initiatives. An impressive 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. It’s up to the logistics community to realize that this is the go-ahead run; we have the public’s blessing to reduce and eliminate our carbon footprint. Now is the time to act.

2. Only 23% of Companies Engage Their Vendors on Sustainability

It begins with holding one another accountable. In that regard, we have significant work to do. While many companies talk about implementing greener practices, too few foster an end-to-end supply chain that’s truly sustainable. A meager 23% of businesses seek out vendors who share their commitment to ecologically friendly practices. Any logistics professional will tell you; we are dependent on one another to ensure that our vast and complex operational webs function correctly. Industrial-level culture change begins when we actively seek partners with an ecological commitment that matches our own.

3. Supply Chains are Responsible for 90% of Industry’s Environmental Impact

If you had to guess what facet of your operations has the most impact on the environment, what would you say? Most people would say manufacturing, but the real answer is your supply chain. Your supply chain is responsible for 90% of your ecological footprint. That’s because your supply chain encompasses so many components of your business, from the procurement of supplies, to pack and shipping, to last-mile delivery. The bulk of your operations is likely tied up in logistics. Therefore, you need to address your supply chain if you intend to reduce your company’s environmental impact.

Global supply chains and business logistics import export background and container cargo freight ship transport with climate change and sustainability practices concept

4. Consumer Packaged Goods Have to Lower Carbon Emissions by 90% to Adhere to the Paris Agreement

Here’s that 90% metric again, but this time in a different context. That 90%, when highlighted from a different angle, shows the immensity of the problem as well as the task ahead for companies committed to reducing or erasing their ecological footprint. Not only does 90% of your waste and pollution come from your supply chain, but all that waste must be eliminated in order to maintain compliance with the Paris Climate treaty.

5. Only 13% of the World’s Oceans Remain Undamaged by Humans

OTR transport, air freight, and shipping are the three most common transport methods in the world of logistics. Most consumers never stop and think that goods and raw materials have to make it overseas somehow despite such a ubiquitous level of global trade. Shipping, together with other forms of pollution, has had quite an impact on oceans. Only 13% of the world’s oceans remain untouched by human activities.

6. The Shipping Industry has Taken the Paris Accords Very Seriously Though

Despite the shipping industry’s radical effects on our oceans, shipbuilders, and design engineers have taken the Paris Climate Accords benchmarks very seriously and are ahead of the curve in terms of new tech. 71% of new ships already comply with the terms of the Paris Agreement, with 10% of those ships boasting double the efficiency required by the treaty.

7. The Transportation Sector is Responsible for Over 50% of NOx Emissions in the U.S.

Predictably, over-the-road transportation and shipping account for a high level of greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA estimates that heavy trucks contribute 50% of the NOx emission total for the entire United States. Additionally, 30% of the nation’s volatile organic compounds and 20% of its particulate matter emissions come from road-based transport, representing an incredible area of opportunity for companies to implement greener practices.

8. Global Roadway Emissions are 70% Higher Now Than They Were in 2005

It’s up to logistical professionals like us to toe the line. Roadway emissions account for a large portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, and unfortunately, those numbers have not been moving in the right direction. Building on the EPA’s stats, emissions from road-based travel and transport are a whopping 70% higher than they were at the beginning of the millennium. This is primarily due to the proliferation of fuel-hungry vehicles like SUVs and increased shipping through vendors like Amazon. In fact, the Amazon last-mile delivery model results in 35% more greenhouse gas emissions. Roadway emissions are prime space for logistics professionals to make a positive environmental impact.

9. Recycling Works!

Implementing greener logistical practices isn’t just a matter of adopting a new corporate ideology; real science leads the way towards a better future. When it comes to paper goods, one of the biggest sources of waste up and down your entire supply chain, recycling is effective. Recycling a single ton of paper saves:

  • 2584 liters of oil

  • 26,498 liters of water

  • 2.5 meters of landfill space

Recycling is a key strategy to help reduce logistics’ environmental drain. The silver lining? It’s easy to implement TODAY.

10. We’re Moving in the Right Direction

There are some scary metrics out there regarding climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. While we have a lot of work to do, it’s important to acknowledge that many components of our global supply chains are moving in the right direction. For example, while roadway emissions are a continual challenge, science has come a long way in the last 30 years. 60 tractor-trailers burning high-efficiency fuel emit less carbon than a single diesel engine did in the 1980s. The science is in place. What we need now is a commitment from our partners up and down logistics to affect positive change.

Symbia Logistics has provided best-in-class 3PL and logistical support for more than a decade, and we’re leading the charge for a greener, more sustainable supply chain going forward. For more information on our services, please contact our representatives today.