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  March 1st, 2024 | Written by

Sustainable Logistics: How To Align Your Brand With Environmental Values

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Efforts toward sustainable logistic practices often take place behind the scenes. When brands tout eco-friendly initiatives, consumers and stakeholders want to see if the claims are substantiated. It’s not enough to state your commitment to the environment. You must intertwine your brand with true environmental values. Learn how to be strategic about sustainability to represent your business in a transparent, positive way.

Benefits of Strategic Sustainability in Logistics

Consumer expectations around sustainability have evolved. As of 2022, only 34% of people surveyed think that brands are transparent enough about their green initiatives. Because information is easily available on what it takes to achieve true sustainability and the reality of climate change is increasingly apparent, consumers and stakeholders are expecting brands to prioritize change and report actual results. This is especially true when it comes to the supply chain.

The opinions of the public and stakeholders have a big influence on how your logistics brand performs. Stakeholders, in particular, are reported to influence business sustainability by putting pressure on businesses along the supply chain to be more environmentally conscious. If you cater to their needs and preferences, you can not only help the environment but also enjoy a better reputation and a better bottom line. You may have to adjust workflow, packaging, shipments, or even vehicles, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Leverage Transparent Communication

Transparent reporting of sustainability effort results is crucial in reputation-building. The public is more aware than ever of greenwashing and its unethical implications. Rather than inflating your results to be more favorable, you should be honest with stakeholders. This transparency starts internally. Effective communication throughout your organization is the first step to achieving greater logistic sustainability. 

When communicating your strategic plan for sustainability company-wide, ensure everyone is on board. You can do this by explaining the importance of the initiatives and showcasing how implementing them will directly benefit employees. Make it as easy as possible for your workforce to initiate the plan by providing them with a framework and assigning specific roles, such as reporting key performance indicators (KPIs) at the end of each month. This employee, for example, would track KPIs and put them in an easy-to-digest report to share with the company. This provides tangible representations of those KPIs. 

These reports should be shared internally and externally so employees and consumers can visualize the impact of your initiatives. When teams meet those KPIs, you can reinforce the importance of their work by rewarding them. Remember that sustainable alignment in logistics will take time and practice, so nurture the process along the way.

Integrate Innovative Logistics 

Rather than trying to do everything at once, analyze your current processes and see what can be improved easily. Green logistics can help your company be carbon-neutral or even net-positive if done correctly. However, putting low effort into many avenues could negate any efforts at all. For example, you could partner with a supplier that uses upcycled materials, but you skimp on eco-friendly shipping. 

Putting together a comprehensive, long-term plan is the best way to efficiently integrate logistics strategies. Do a deep analysis of your budget and current carbon footprint, and make a timeline of how to stack on eco-friendly practices for the best impact overall.

Showcase Environmental Initiatives

Again, transparency is key when reporting eco-friendly logistics practices. This is a value you must implement when showcasing successes to stakeholders, potential partners, and the media. This can boost your organization’s reputation, foster consumer trust, and set you apart from less transparent competitors in the logistics industry. 

Putting together a media kit specifically highlighting your sustainability efforts is a great way to get the right information out there. Make a few for different target audiences and make sure to update your KPIs regularly. The dynamic nature of both logistics and environmental practices calls for frequent revision. Don’t leave out any negatives — instead, highlight your wins and show how they culminate into an overall more sustainable supply chain. 

Case studies are nice to include, as well as contact information for anyone who has further questions about your initiatives. Make sure that your media kit reflects your brand visually, using consistent colors, fonts, and imagery. Viewers should be able to immediately connect this eco-friendly statement back to your brand. You can send this media kit to reporters and bloggers to really get the word out there about how you are upping the game in the sustainability department.

Moving Forward With Sustainable Logistics

Environmental activism is an ongoing process — just like your logistics processes. Making the change to sustainable logistics isn’t a quick-win strategy, but it is an impactful one. Enhancing your logistics while caring about their impact on the environment will increase your ability to garner loyal customers and partners. Keep abreast of innovations in sustainable logistics, like self-driving fleets or AI-powered warehouse analytics. If you can, dedicate a team to this pursuit. Your brand reputation and bottom line will thank you for years to come.