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Lighthouse - November, 2010.

The World Is Thinking… Go Green

The cell phone charger that stays plugged in, the DVD player that waits for the occasional playing, the TV that sits on standby all night and the laptop which pretends to sleep … Are these the simple things that need a little attention in your daily life?

According to ‘Chaos Theory’ the flap of a butterfly’s wings here can create a tornado half way across the world…So let us make it a commitment that we do our part.

Now poking into a broader concept: ‘Green Logistics’ ensures a natural way of doing profitable business. Corporate Social Responsibility has gained crucial significance in the business world during these years. Environmental aspects have gained importance as the global companies are now well aware of ‘greening’ their business. Greening in business will add to measurable financial business benefits like reduced cost due to lower energy consumption, green alliances and support from governments by giving rebates and subsidies.

According to recent research by Aberdeen Group more than 50% of companies indicate ‘reducing overall business cost’ as one of the main drivers in pursuing ‘green’ initiatives. The cost and environmental impact of the supply chain can be attributed to two basic areas: Warehousing and Transportation and the latter one in terms of carbon foot-print (a measure of the impact of our activities on environment) accounts for two thirds of supply chain’s overall energy consumption. The conceptual design of the warehouse has to be done with a clear understanding of the interconnections between the transportation and the warehouse. As always, warehouses are busy places where goods are constantly on move, both inbound and outbound. Businesses always focus on maximizing the returns of each dollar spent by focusing on reducing costs whilst increasing the Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. The three ‘R’s of reducing costs which is inline with the environmental focus are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

In warehousing there are many areas which needs attention where businesses can ‘R’educe consumption whether it is consumption of energy or resources. Packaging is a major attribute of warehousing. By reducing the packaging and also by the use of advance packing materials the weight can be reduced and also it increases efficiency. By reducing the weight we not only save shipping costs but also save energy for the movement of packed materials inside the warehouse. Biodegradable packaging is another advanced method to make sure that customers are not liable for disposing environmentally harmful packing.

‘R’eusing packaging is a traditional method which is followed in most warehouses globally. Pallets, cartons and boxes are examined and reused if appropriate. For certain products the packaging is expensive and each time the manufacturer will lose it once goods are sold out. Increasing the quality can increase the life of the packaging whereby the manufacturers can reuse and reduce the amount spent on packing material.The recent financial turmoil had opened the eyes of many businesses where we are forced to reduce the costs. This created more importance in ‘R’ecycle of many materials in warehouses.

However, despite the investment a company makes in order to improve its Corporate Social Responsibility, the employees need to change their work habits and follow new procedures that combined will help the environment and in turn help the company’s bottom line.

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