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Shippers to seek carbon-efficient carriers for green supply chain
Oct '08
NO COMMERCIAL entity in the world would voluntarily adopt a green supply chain, in the view of Rose Luke, senior researcher of the department of transport and supply chain management at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The reason, says Alex Novitzky, supply chain development manager at Maersk Logistics is that the current mindset equates reducing CO2 with an increase in cost.

According to Novitzky there are two drivers that will change things. The first is legislation such as the Kyoto Protocol which was signed by South Africa and affects all importers and distributors as global brands that ship to South Africa are looking to reduce the CO2 emissions of supply chain partners.

The main discussion regarding the Copenhagen Protocol, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, takes place next year and there is a drive for shipping and aviation emissions to be regulated by the new protocol. The second driver is consumer pressure which affects local exporters and retailers as EU retailers are starting to source CO2 neutral products.

Two of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions can be found during the manufacturing and transporting process. Novitzky says if companies openly share information, the logistics service provider can analyse existing practices and make proposals to optimise the supply chain and reduce both CO2 emissions and costs.

Solutions include better stuffing practices, which means better container utilisation; converting to different modes of transport, especially to sea from air and to rail from road (if and when South Africa's rail network is upgraded in terms of reliability, security, etc); and shipping with a more CO2-efficient ocean carrier as an unpublished Clean Cargo Working Group survey shows that there is a difference between carriers' emissions.

Maersk's Alex Novitzky: “If companies openly share information, the logistics service provider can analyse existing practices and make proposals to optimise the supply chain and reduce both CO2 emissions and costs.”

Maersk Logistic

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