Greener Logistics

January 16th, 2013 - At a time of growing global focus on climate change, the logistics sector is increasingly in the spotlight.

Accounting for a significant 13 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions, clients and providers of transport and logistics are pushing for change.

​Logistics providers are seeking solutions that reduce emissions,” says Thibault Lecuyer, environment development coordinator at SDV in Singapore. “We have a responsibility to become more innovative.”

Innovative ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for the logistics industry include switching to more environmentally-friendly transport such as ships or low-emission vehicles, optimization of transport plans and optimized order management. The use of energy-efficient buildings that reduce consumption of energy and water as well as the emission of harmful gases is another option.

SDV, for example, recently invested $55 million in its new green hub in Singapore that serves some of the world’s biggest producers of luxury goods. This innovative building spans 42,000 square meters and boasts energy-saving measures such as low thermal-transmission materials for the building envelope. Other features include natural lighting and controlled air quality for a better working environment.

The first warehouse in Singapore to be certified with the highest level Green Mark Platinum rating issued by Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority, SDV’s hub also holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Water efficiency is a key feature, crucial in a country that still relies on neighboring Malaysia for much of its water supply. The warehouse is expected to consume around 50 percent less water than a standard building, says Lecuyer, through measures ranging from rainwater collection to water-saving taps. The warehouse also runs its air-conditioning systems on Singapore’s recycled sewage water, branded NEWater.

A central part of the government’s drive to promote sustainable growth, NEWater is treated through microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection. Singapore expects NEWater to meet 50 percent of the country’s water needs by 2060, up from 30 percent today.

SDV’s green policy extends to all areas of its warehouse including the way staff work, says Lecuyer. SDV Singapore plans new initiatives to follow in areas including waste management, green packaging and related promotional events…

When SDV hosted a reception for over 250 people to mark the opening of the warehouse last December, for example, the carbon footprint of the event was measured according to international standards for CO2 assessment. SDV then offset its emissions by purchasing Gold Standard carbon credits in a biogas project in Cambodia.

This project installs small-scale biogas plants in rural areas where families have traditionally cooked their meals using firewood. The project aims to improve living conditions, protect the environment by reducing deforestation and boost the local economy through job creation.

“We can now do the same for future events as the carbon footprint is relatively simple to calculate,” says Lecuyer. “The assessment includes CO2 emissions related to guest transportation to Singapore, catering services, energy consumption and paper production.”

SDV’s green hub in Singapore is just one part of the group’s focus on environmentally-friendly logistics. Its SAVE PROGRAM, for example, offers clients the ability to measure the carbon footprint of their supply chains. The service can also advise companies on how to reduce their supply-chain emissions and help them achieve a neutral carbon footprint through voluntary carbon offsetting projects.

The development of greener logistics will also be extended to other SDV logistics operations in Singapore and later to the rest of Asia, says Fabien Giordano, managing director of SDV Singapore. “Singapore has acted as a test site,” he adds. “We are constantly looking for innovative solutions to reduce emissions internally and in cooperation with our customers.”

Key Figures
  • 20%

    More fuel-efficient for the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350

  • 70%

    of Urbanisation is expected by 2050

  • 27

    mega-cities are expected by 2050, with at least 10 million people, compared to 1...

  • +18,4%

    of growth for E-commerce retail market in Europe in 2015

  • 82%

    of goods are moved by road

  • 1 billion

    Population in Africa

  • 60%

    of Africa’s population will be urbanized by 2050

  • 7,5%

    of growth for Indian GDP in 2014

  • 4,9%

    of growth for African GDP in 2016

  • 6,1%

    of growth for East Asian GDP in 2015, the world’s fastest-growing region

  • 19 224 teus

    transported by the MSC Oscar, the largest container ship in the world

  • 396 m

    is the size of the MSC Oscar ship

  • 120 h

    is the Non-Stop Flight Record done by Solar Impulse

  • 4,5%

    of growth in 2015 for Global Airfreight demand