Does Your Transportation Logistics Company Follow the Frog?

Logistics are all about efficiency.

And of the numerous efficiency metrics that logistics companies monitor daily, we posit a new one:

“Does your transportation logistics company follow the frog?”

Follow the Frog

What exactly does it mean to follow the frog?

Those familiar with environmental sustainability may already know. “The frog” refers to the branded logo of the Rainforest Alliance placed on consumer goods and products. Per their site, the frog represents farm and forest products procured in environmentally-, socially-, and economically-conscious ways. The campaign was created to raise awareness of the loss of rainforests, deforestation for the sake of commerce, and the ever-expanding push of global business into natural areas.

On the consumer side, following the frog means selecting products that have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance as sustainable. But from a business perspective, following the frog means much more than just voting at the register. If you have not watched the widely popular video, you can by clicking here.

Transportation Logistics

In terms of transportation logistics, following the frog means looking at the sustainability of a supply chain and determining the best way to cut down on waste. Generally, CO2 emissions (a business’s “carbon footprint”) are the primary target of these initiatives. And in the transportation logistics marketplace where globalized supply chains are the norm, there’s often plenty of room for improvement.

Unfortunately, many companies—even third-party logistics providers who prioritize efficiency—don’t understand the biggest sources of CO2 waste in the typical supply chain. Indeed, many businesses still don’t even bother to track CO2 emissions.

To truly understand the relationship between their business models and CO2 output, businesses must take a comprehensive approach to supply chain assessments. Each leg of the supply chain, from initial manufacturing to global transportation to regional distribution needs to be reviewed individually and in context, with the end-to-end costs of each segment being considered.

This type of sustainability assessment isn’t just about high-minded ideals like saving the rainforests. Sustainability optimizations can produce significant cost savings and efficiency boosts to the businesses that take the time to do them.

Why You Should Follow the Frog

Working towards supply chain sustainability is about more than just catering to environmentalists or putting across a positive public image. Energy waste is fast becoming a valuable metric for tracking business performance and knowing how to efficiently allocate resources to cut down on wasted spend. From the electricity and natural gas used to power equipment to the gasoline and other carbon-based fuels used to power huge fleets of delivery vehicles, CO2 consumption can be a powerful indicator of logistics efficiency.

The benefits of following the frog are numerous for transportation logistic providers and the clients they serve:

  • Identifying sources of wasted energy helps reduce consumption costs and saves money in both manufacturing and transportation.
  • Reducing carbon output supports compliance with regulatory bodies that limit the amount of CO2 that businesses can produce.
  • Cutting expenses related to energy waste frees up capital and creates new opportunities for productivity-boosting initiatives.
  • “Going green” promotes a positive brand image and gives businesses a competitive edge in a worldwide marketplace increasingly focused on sustainability

With these benefits in mind, companies need to make the carbon footprint of a supply chain a priority for assessment. If transportation logistics are all about optimizing policies and procedures to produce the highest service levels at the lowest cost, then sustainability is a metric that can’t afford to be overlooked.

Sustainability Is Not Optional

To start down the path towards sustainability, business owners must assess their transportation practices to determine their energy use and overall carbon footprint. This assessment is the first step toward understanding how improved energy management can produce value-driving opportunities for growth.

And as the global push towards energy reduction continues, more businesses will begin to see sustainability optimizations as opportunities for competitive growth. Aside from its necessity from an environmental perspective, logistics providers who fail to account for CO2 consumption are missing a critical piece of the supply chain optimization puzzle.

For manufacturers, enterprise level businesses, and organizations with global supply chains, following the frog can be powerful indeed, without the pain of the naïve idealist in the widely popular video.

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