Significance of sustainability

on the rise in logistics

Strategic sustainability management is becoming more and more important in the transport and logistics sector, and there are several reasons for this: greater environmental awareness among the general public, increasing pressure on costs in the use of resources as well as legal requirements.

For example, large capital-market-oriented companies with more than 500 employees in Germany have been obligated to comply with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy of the European Union since March 2017. In future, they must provide information on important aspects of the environment, social affairs, human rights, workers’ rights and the fight against corruption. Furthermore, the federal government of Germany already adopted the National Action Plan (NAP) at the end of 2016 in order to implement the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. The government is thereby ensuring that German companies best promote human rights along the entire supply and value chain worldwide.

“Lean and Green” sustainability initiative

For Björn Anderseck, manager at Mars Germany, “Lean and Green” is the perfect platform for a sustainable supply chain.

Logistic specialists and service providers are faced with a huge challenge, especially in light of the ever-increasing flow of goods and cross-border trade fueled by booming e-commerce. There’s growing pressure along the entire supply chain: partner companies increasingly demand precise information about the CO2 emissions from transport. That’s why confectionery manufacturer Mars only cooperates with logistics service providers participating in the international initiative “Lean and Green”. Companies are thus rewarded for their commitment to reducing CO2, says the standardization organization GS1 Germany. Mars was the first company to incorporate participating in the initiative as an evaluation criterion for its transport and warehouse tendering process. “Mars is pursuing the goal of becoming ‘sustainable in a generation’. The supply chain can make a vital contribution to this endeavor,” says Björn Anderseck, availability & distribution manager at Mars Germany.

Many retail companies and logistics service providers, however, find it difficult to calculate their own carbon footprint, optimize supply chains or provide the necessary data for sustainability reporting, for example. SAP service providers such as abat provide industry-specific support on how to combine process and IT expertise with sustainability know-how. The company is already providing consulting to companies active in the logistics industry, such as Bosch, Daimler, DHL, Thyssen-Krupp, VS Heibo Logistics, etc.

Text by Lisa Reggentin and Benjamin Klare
Photos: Shutterstock, Mars