Sustainable Trends in Logistics for 2024

Tom Isler

Sustainability is becoming more important to businesses, with logistics being one of the biggest priorities. 

Sustainability is becoming a global priority, seeing higher sustainability demands from stakeholders, employees, and governing bodies.

Future-ready organisations position sustainability at the core of their corporate strategy, with other organisations catching up, not just for compliance but to create a competitive advantage by leading in social corporate responsibility.

Logistics has a large environmental impact, including noise pollution, consumption of fossil fuels and air pollution, causing greenhouse gas emissions. The European Environment Agency predicts by 2050 that logistics will account for up to 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions unless effective measures are taken.

Here are some of the top sustainability trends affecting logistics for 2024:

2024 is the beginning of businesses’ mandatory reporting on carbon emissions within the EU through the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive).

Currently, this only applies to large companies with more than 250 employees, but can still impact SMEs who aren’t required to report until 2027. Some larger businesses are applying for requests for proposals (RFPs) for prospective partners to provide proof of sustainable practices, impacting those who don’t already report, and causing some businesses to miss out on winning work.

Further afar, other countries are also bringing in laws and regulations for reporting, which will soon come into force.

The UK is looking for regulatory sustainable recognition to adopt – the Department of Business and Trade is announcing that they are developing a UK sustainability disclosure standard by July 2024, taking a further step towards harmonising sustainability reporting. 

Decarbonisation

Within the logistics sector, there will soon be an accelerated shift towards decarbonisation.

Businesses need to reduce the amount of carbon released to achieve their sustainability goals and ‘net zero’ targets. Therefore, there will be a rise in organisations needing to measure their carbon footprint, including Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

Logistics is a key aspect for Scope 3 emissions as they provide indirect services to most businesses. Scope 3 emissions can make up to 70-90% of the carbon footprint of a business, meaning having trusted suppliers to measure emissions and take active steps to reduce them is paramount.

If you currently employ a third party to move your goods, now is the time to start having a conversation on how they can help you with reporting emissions when moving your freight.

We’re here to help you stay ahead and guide you through the complexities of Scope 3 and carbon reporting. We are Solutions Architects, with access to a vast network of suppliers, where we can resource alternative routes and vehicles to bring you one step closer to your decarbonisation goal.

Our GLEC-approved and ISO 14083 compliant carbon calculator measures all vehicle types, down to vehicle and fuel type, providing an all-in-one solution for measuring your Scope 3 emissions. Find out more by clicking here.

The rise of AI

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) accelerated in 2023 and is set to evolve even faster in 2024. AI is helping businesses transform their sustainability strategy, especially within logistics.

Some areas could include: 

  • Route optimisation – where AI can help find the most efficient routes, by analysing data from multiple sources, like traffic conditions, weather and distance to calculate energy usage and identify opportunities for efficiencies whilst maintaining customer satisfaction.

  • Partnership evaluation – AI could be used to assess the sustainability of suppliers, by analysing supplier performance, i.e. carbon emissions, and provide areas for improvement and create greater decision-making when selecting supply chain partners.
  • Vessel, truck, plane, and port optimisation – AI software can improve the efficiency and integration of all transport types, helping measure the supply chain as a whole and driving down emissions emitted. 

Whilst AI is still being developed and perfected, it is seen as the next powerful tool to address environmental sustainability challenges that were previously considered overly complex. Creating a more efficient and sustainable future in the logistics sector.

Carbon Insetting

2024 will see the emergence of Carbon Insetting.

Unlike carbon offsetting which looks to balance out the emissions which have already been created, carbon insetting takes a different approach, looking to minimise the amount of emissions created within an industry or supply chain. Carbon insetting is achieved through implementing nature-based solutions like reforestation, renewable energy, agroforestry, and regenerative agriculture. Doing so, not only reduces the total amount of emissions created but also positively nurtures a business’s local community, ecosystem and landscape.

The COP28 summit created a clearer path of sustainability and more specifically for businesses. The conference reiterated that moving beyond greenwashing and carbon offsetting is the new strategy for businesses to take. 

Promoting insetting is a way to reduce carbon emissions within a company’s supply chain. By integrating sustainability into the core of business operations it creates a more authentic and impactful approach.

If you currently employ a third party to move your goods, now is the time to start having a conversation on how they can help you with reporting emissions when moving your freight. 

We are committed to understanding the complexity of the sustainable challenge ahead and work with thousands of suppliers and customers to navigate their way through reducing carbon emissions and upholding sustainability strategies. 

For more information on our services please visit our Sustainable Freight Network or get in touch now. 

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