Green Distribution – 14 Ways to Improve Your Supply Chain


Distribution channels are an important part of society. They move products from the producer to the consumer. Companies can use green distribution methods to reduce emissions and decrease their carbon footprint.

Here are 14 ways to improve your supply chain through green distribution. And check out the special discount below for our readers!

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What is Green Distribution?

Green distribution is the practice of transporting goods in an environmentally friendly manner.

14 Ways to Make Your Supply Chain Eco-Friendly

1. Register to Become an EPA SmartWay Partner

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a program called SmartWay for all companies and organizations that ship, manage, or carry freight.

SmartWay Partners receive access to tracking tools that help them measure, benchmark, and report emissions. It is easy to register online, and the program is completely free!

EPA Logo - Green Distribution
EPA SmartWay Logo - Green Distribution

2. Implement Speed Management Policies

Implementing speed management policies can help the environment and reduce fuel consumption. 

Green Distribution - Speed Management Policies

Understand your vehicles’ optimal range and provide clear guidelines for how fast they can go. This will help find the right balance of fuel efficiency and acceptable delivery speed. 

3. Implement Engine Shutdown Policies

Similarly, knowing when to shut it off is an important piece of the puzzle.

By having policies in place, green distribution companies can balance the trade-offs between an idling truck and a silent engine. This way, drivers aren't left guessing when the best time is for shutting it down.

4. Use Eco-Friendly Tires

Eco-friendly tires can save money on fuel and increase traction.

A lot of brands, such as Michelin, offer fuel-efficient tires for all sorts of vehicles.

5. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Taking advantage of natural light and switching to energy-efficient lighting is a good green distribution tip that will help the environment and save you money.

There are plenty of well-priced eco-friendly commercial lights on Amazon!

6. Use Better Insulation for Your Warehouse

Investing in insulation can reduce heating and cooling expenses while saving energy.

7. Conduct an HVAC Audit

Conducting an HVAC audit can reveal inefficiencies. Correcting inefficiencies can save energy and reduce operating expenses.

8. Take Advantage of Renewable Energy Credits

Taking advantage of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint immediately. There are two ways you can approach it.

Easily Purchase RECs from a Non-Profit

First, you can buy RECs directly from a non-profit. For instance, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation sells wind and solar energy credits to help businesses offset their energy use. They do the leg work, and you reap the benefits!

Work with Vendors of Suppliers that Offset Emissions with RECs

Alternatively, you could work with vendors and suppliers that utilize energy credits.

For example, our favorite eco-friendly vendor is GreenGeeks! They use 300% renewable energy to host your website, and they plant a tree when you sign up.

You get a lightning-fast website for an affordable price, and you automatically reduce your carbon footprint!

GreenGeeks - Green Web Hosting
GreenGeeks Has Partnered with a Non-Profit Called One Tree Planted to Plant a Tree for Every Sign Up

GreenGeeks buys wind energy credits to replace the energy used by their servers. They buy back 3x the energy consumed, making your website carbon neutral or negative.

You can go 300% green with the click of a button, and your customers will appreciate it!

9. Switch to Biodegradable or Recycled Packaging Materials

Using biodegradable or recycled packaging materials is easier than you think! There are tons of options available on Amazon.

For instance, they have biodegradable packing peanuts, bubble wrap, mailer, and packing tape. Check it out!

Biodegradable Packing Peanuts - Green Distribution
Green Distribution - Biodegradable Bubble Wrap
Green Distribution - Biodegradable Packing Tape

10. Use Local Suppliers Whenever Possible

Shipping supplies from long distances uses natural resources and fossil fuels. Choosing local suppliers helps support the environment and stimulates the local economy.

11. Consolidate Your Shipments

Sending full truckloads will reduce emissions and decrease your carbon footprint.

12. Maintain Your Equipment So It Lasts Longer

Maintenance Person Working on Machine - Green Distribution

Increasing your equipment’s useful life saves money and diverts waste from landfills.

13. Install Solar Panels

Solar panels for commercial buildings and small businesses are incredibly affordable. A lot of people prefer to start small with clean energy. Even a few solar panels can make a difference in decreasing your operating expenses and ecological footprint.

6 Commercial Solar Panels - Green Distribution

14. Invest in Clean Idle Trucks or Electric Trucks

Finally, investing in clean idle trucks or electric trucks can significantly decrease pollution and reduce your carbon footprint.

Electric trucks can be expensive. They are often 2 – 3 times more expensive than normal trucks. However, their prices should continue to decrease as time passes and technology becomes more sophisticated.

For instance, Tesla is working on an electric semi-truck that will start at $150,000. Tesla expects to launch the electric semi-truck relatively soon. However, the launch has been delayed or pushed out three times since 2017.

On the other hand, clean idle trucks are a less expensive option. Clean idle trucks have filters that decrease smog and pollution.

Certified Clean Idle Truck

3 Amazing Benefits of Green Distribution

1. Increased Efficiency

Most green distribution solutions are related to efficiency. A more efficient operation leads to increased productivity, happier employees, and greater energy savings.

2. Reduced Costs

The most noticeable benefit of green distribution is reduced operating expenses. Using clean energy and electric vehicles will save money in the long run.

Additionally, using natural light and installing better insulation will lower your monthly bills. These savings can be passed on to your employees or customers. Alternatively, they can be reinvested in the business to increase scale and profitability.

3. Customer Loyalty

Lastly, using eco-friendly products and practices can attract and retain customers. Studies have shown that 50 percent of consumers rank sustainability as a top five value driver. This number is higher for younger generations like Millennials and Generation Z. 

In our opinion, companies that make sustainability a core value will continue to grow and increase market share, while those that don’t will fall behind.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some easy green distribution tips?

First, register to become an EPA SmartWay Partner. SmartWay Partners receive access to tracking tools that help them measure, benchmark, and report emissions. You can register for free online at

Second, start small and optimize what you already have. For instance, you could use less electricity by taking advantage of natural light. You could replace your current lighting with energy-efficient lighting. Review your operation and make small changes wherever possible. They will add up in the long run!

2. What if I can't afford an electric truck?

Consider buying a used truck that is less expensive. Even if it isn’t electric, buying a used truck can save money, prolong the vehicle’s useful life, and divert waste from landfills.

Alternatively, you could reduce your emissions elsewhere. For instance, you could buy solar panels or renewable energy credits to offset your carbon footprint.

3. What if I use a third-party for warehousing?

If you use a third party for warehousing then you might not be able to make changes to the lighting, insulation, etc. In this case, choose warehouse suppliers that have lots of locations, so your products don’t have to travel as far. This will help increase efficiency and decrease emissions.

4. Does green distribution really matter?

Yes, according to the EPA transportation accounts for the largest proportion of greenhouse gas emissions.

Your actions, no matter how small, make a difference. 

5. Why should I be interested in green distribution?

Because it helps the environment, saves you money, and improves customer loyalty.

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About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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1 comment
Selena says February 11, 2016

It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas
from this article as well as from our dialogue made here.

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