Distribution channels are an important part of society. They move products from the producer to the consumer. Many companies use green distribution methods in an attempt to reduce emissions and decrease their carbon footprint. However, it's important to ensure green distribution is sustainable in the long term.
Here are some of the key things the distribution industry can do to promote green distribution and make it sustainable for the long term.
11 Ways Green Distribution Can Be Sustainable
1. EPA SmartWay Partnerships
It all starts with being able to back up your statements. Increasingly, companies are looking at partnerships with the government to add support to their initiatives. In addition, they can also show that they are committed to practices that help the environment.
For companies in the US, the EPA SmartWay partnerships are just such a means.
Because not every company can be a partner, this is a great place to look to determine if a company makes the cut.
2. Clean Idle Trucks
Not all trucks are created equal. While many companies continue to rely on trucks that emit harmful fumes, many green distribution companies have switched to clean idle trucks.
Source: Sewickley Borough, PA
These vehicles allow drivers to idle their engines without having to worry about dirtying the environment in the process.
3. LNG Yard Switchers
LNG, or Liquefied Natural Gas, provides a much cleaner source of energy to power modern yard switchers. As these heavy vehicles are used to assemble trains in the yard, they need the power to get the job done.
LNG is less harmful to the environment while providing the required energy.
4. Speed Management Policies
Green distribution has set the pace for managing the speed of vehicles. This environmental strategy looks to find the optimal range that vehicles can operate at to reduce fuel consumption over the long haul.
With modern technology, this is a great way to help the environment.
5. Eco-Friendly Tires
New tire material and technology gives trucks their needed traction while being friendlier on the environment. These changes help save on fuel, but can also increase the life of the tire too.
Longer life means less used tires in the landfill.
6. Fuel Additive Programs
In the past 10 years, fuel additives have come a long way. These additives improve mileage and performance. Green distribution seeks to implement programs using the best additives available.
7. Truck Stop Electrification
It may come as a surprise to some, but green distribution has brought electric-vehicles into their fleets. These vehicles are energy-efficient and no longer rely on fossil fuels that damage our environment. Entire truck stops are being built for the purpose of powering this growing number.
8. Engine Shutdown Policies
Knowing when to shut it off is an important piece of the puzzle. By having policies in place, green distribution companies are able to 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.
9. Low Wattage Lighting
Many warehouses are now using lights that are low wattage, using far less energy in the process. These modern lights also last longer, instead of filling landfills full of garbage.
10. Solar Technology
Where it is appropriate, solar power is now being used to generate additional energy at the warehouse level. This means that warehouse teams are able to get the job done while harvesting the natural energy of the sun. By decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels, green distribution is paving the way for these technologies to grow further.
11. Waste Recycling Programs
Finally, recycling at the warehouses and throughout the process is a key strategy that is simple and often overlooked. However, good companies recognize the importance of this step at their locations. By providing this option, they show their promise to not only curbing consumption, but in reusing the precious resources that we have.