Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an initiative that is attracting a lot of attention right now. It’s driven by the idea that companies can do better and should make themselves responsible for the impact that they have, both in terms of the environment and also on the communities that they touch. The benefits of a strong CSR policy include everything, from improving goodwill with customers to creating an operational advantage. So, how are logistics companies integrating CSR into their offering?
More fuel efficient vehicles
According to the International Energy Agency, the transport and logistics industry generates nearly a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions. So, tackling this major environmental impact is central to every logistics business looking to address the issue of corporate social responsibility. Making the switch to more fuel efficient vehicles is a change already happening at many logistics companies, where diesel cars, vans and lorries are behind replaced by hybrids – and soon electric – cars. For shorter and more urban courier needs, bicycle couriers are proving not only more CSR-friendly but cheaper too.
Improving efficiency at business premises
Just like any other business, transport and logistics companies consume energy in the premises from which they operate. Reducing the volume of energy consumed will reduce the environmental impact and help to make a significant difference when it comes to CSR. Energy saving building design, the use of sustainable materials and choosing smarter and more efficient equipment for the premises can all make an impact here.
Mapping and measuring emissions
Taking responsibility for the effect that the existence of a business has on the world around is a crucial part of the process of CSR. So, mapping and measuring emissions is a first step towards finding solutions to excessive emissions and being able to reduce them. Green Transformation Lab, for example, is a joint collaboration between DHL and the Singapore Management University, which has created the Carbon Dashboard 2.0. This is a “supply chain management tool that maps CO2 emissions to critical business parameters.”
Ensuring working fair and ethical working conditions
Some logistics and transport companies have been in the news with respect to the way that many workers are treated. Ethical treatment of those within the business is a key part of any CSR policy, including ensuring minimum wages are met and that staff are not working beyond legal or physical limits. Logistics companies serious about CSR are changing perspectives when it comes to the treatment of workers and how this reflects on the business ethically, as well as legally.
Signing up to industry platforms
It’s tough for some businesses to know where to start when it comes to CSR, which is why many have chosen to join industry platforms such as the AA1000 SES Stakeholder Engagement Standard. This standard is designed to help organisations of all sorts, from governments to private companies, to adopt ethical, environmental, social accountability practices.
At UCS we know that CSR is the future of the logistics sector and we factor this in to our infrastructure and policies at every step.