If you go back a couple of decades ago, very few people would actually have cared about the greenness of a company. Sure, there may have been a few small voices here and there, but nobody would have been loud enough to really be heard. Businesses, for the most part, could pump out all manner of pollution and still take in vast amounts of profit. Things have changed now though. The media, and a greater focus on the health of this planet, has ensured that the ‘greenness’ of a company is at the forefront of a consumer’s mind. It is one of the main things that they look for. You only have to see the major brands out there touting that their operations are green to know this. On this page, we are going to take a little look at how you can cut costs for your company, whilst at the same time ensuring that you are not compromising the green aspect of your logistics.
So how can you ensure you logistics operations are as green as possible?
We won’t lie to you. Making a company green is going to be expensive. Doing things the ‘wrong way’ will always be cheaper. It is sad but true. That being said, if your logistic operations are green, there is a good chance that more people will care about your company . If more people care about you, that will mean more money in the company’s coffers. We want to talk to you a little bit about applying green logistics, on your own accord (i.e. not just because you are following government legislation) to your supply chain. These ideas will not, obviously, be suitable for every company, but you should be able to pick out a fair few which seem enticing enough.
- Where do you source your products from? Chances are, you are sourcing them from overseas. You are probably doing this incredibly cheaply. However, you have to realise that sourcing your products from abroad is not going to be all that green. Most of the countries where you are sourcing the products from will not have environmentally-friendly legislation in place, and this in turn has caused pollution to be sky high. This is not the impression that you want to give off when you are a green business, right? Of course not! Many people do not actually realise that moving product sourcing a little bit closer to home can work out cheaper for the company in the long run. You will not be spending tons and tons of cash on transportation costs (this can eat into profit margins). Sure, the products are going to be a bit more expensive, but at least they are going to be of a higher-quality. This will, in turn, lead to better sales, and hopefully higher profit margins. So there, you will have cut costs in your supply chain BY actually being a tad greener. It won’t be much, but every little helps.
- Many companies are actually moving over to alternative methods of distributing their products, particularly those who do not have large distances to cover. For example; moving over to electric vehicles when shipping products throughout a city. Sure, the cost of that vehicle is a little higher but it will work out cheaper in the long run as you will not have to constantly pay for fuel, which is plain expensive. If consumers catch wind that you are utilising electric vehicles then they will realise that you are acting green as a company. You may even want to look into rail or maritime shipping over longer distances. Yes, these methods are slower, but they are also going to be a lot cheaper. In addition to this, you are not going to be coming across as environmentally unfriendly by using air freight.
- Some companies, in a bid to cut costs, are waiting until they have a substantial load of product before shipping it out. After all, the more products that are shipped, the lower the cost is going to be per product. In addition to this, you may even wish to look into reducing the size of the packaging, or even the use of materials in the goods. Both of which will make you come off as a ‘green company’, but you will be making substantial cost-savings at the same time. The only downside is that waiting for a large shipment to build up can be a little slow. It is, obviously, not going to be a good method for those who are shipping time-sensitive products.
This is, of course, a few ways in which you can improve your logistics chain, on a cost level, whilst making it a touch greener. If you have more funds to spare, you may even wish to look into greener warehousing solutions. Sure, it will be a tad more expensive to get set-up, but in the long run there will be significant cost-savings.