Logistics and pollution today

Global warming and the consequences of it have affected business and the daily life of every person on the planet. Companies and governments alike had to rethink to reduce pollution. Logistics play a key role because many types of pollution are created there. To reduce potential punitive damages companies need to be aware of these pollutions and think about how to cope with them. To learn what types of pollution are created by logistics read the following article.

Climate change has altered the world we used to know. Evidence has shown that most of the climate change is human-caused (NASA, 2020). This has led global leaders to take drastic actions toward all manufacturing industries. Agreements like the “Kyoto Protocol” or the “Paris Climate Agreement” have impacted the business environment. Fees were introduced to fine polluting companies. Companies had to rethink internal processes and go-to-markets. Environmental friendliness became a central aspect and focus point for many. Public and scientific movements further pushed the topic into the public eye. Companies had to act to avoid consumer backlash and do their part in slowing down climate change. Logistics soon became a focal point for many companies.

Logistics is a major source of human-created pollution. Firstly, there is marine pollution. Cargo ships and tankers crossing the oceans pollute it with emissions and garbage. Yet, there is another major threat to the aquatic wildlife and ecosystem created by logistics. The very real threat of oil spills. On August 16, 2020, a vessel near the coast of Mauritius ran aground and spilled the transported oil (CNN, 2020). Hundreds of thousands of wildlife species are in extreme danger because of that, posing a severe threat to the local ecosystem. This is far from the only case and events like this keep happening. The second environmental threat is noise pollution. This aspect got neglected for a very long time but gained more and more public attention. Scientists have proven that people and animals get sick when they are subjected to loud noises over a long period of time. Goods get transported by e.g. lorry, trains, and airplanes which are major noise sources, especially in the urban environment. Currently, 210 million EU citizens are exposed to harmful levels of traffic noise (Jacyna et al., 2017). Lorry ranks among the most disturbing noise sources in the urban environment (Jacyna et al., 2017). Because of the increasing cargo amount the noise pollution becomes more and more severe. The third and last threat, that is going to be looked at, is air pollution created by logistics. Fine particles like PM2.5 and PM10 are a severe risk for human health. PM2.5 numbers are extremely high in densely populated or industry-heavy areas. These particles endanger especially newborns with an increased risk for chronic illnesses. Most of the last-mile cargo is transported by lorry directly into the cities. These lorries are oftentimes diesel-powered and emit high levels of harmful gasses. In the Chinese capital Beijing, it is estimated that around one-third of PM2.5 pollution is created by transportation (Chang et al., 2019). Alternatives need to be found to slow down the process.

We can help you reevaluate your logistics strategy to make it more environmentally friendly and at the same time efficient. Our team of logistics experts are looking forward to working with you and your company to reduce your CO2/t km. Contact our team and start working with OCCON today!

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