Sustainability is gaining more and more attention in supply chain and logistics. Many consumers already take action in their own homes, preferring sustainable options rather than harming the environment. This is a deliberate choice because the more sustainable option often used, proves to be more expensive.
In the business-to-business market, an increasing number of companies are choosing sustainable options, however, there is still room for improvement.
For most people, the environmental aspect is the first thing that comes to their mind when sustainability is mentioned although looking at it from a business perspective, it is a much broader subject.
I believe that people make a difference within their companies. This is why we put so much effort into enabling our people to be successful. We create an environment in which they feel free to share their ideas, use their creativity and develop an entrepreneurial spirit. We continuously improve our operations and do so by a bottom-up approach. Our people usually know best what happens in our processes and on our customers’ side, so we listen carefully to what they say. Some of the best ideas for improvements and new services have come from the shop floor. Multidisciplinary teams working together to launch and implement these new initiatives, leveraging knowledge and experience from different departments. One of my favorite employee initiatives was the hiring of a health coach. For staff that joined the program, the coach would determine their current health and fitness level and advise them on training and their diet to improve their overall health. The coach also looked into the ergonomic setup of desks and workstations.
Another people-related item I would like to mention here is that we care deeply for diversity. It does not matter what your gender is, or if you have a disability, wherever you come from, whatever your religion is, or who you love. We accept everyone. We strive to employ a diverse workforce, so we also support local initiatives to help people with poor job prospects. They have proven to be a valuable addition to our operations because, in the end, the world of our customers is also diverse.
Looking at our role, we try to minimize our carbon footprint by sorting waste and minimizing the use of paper. We replaced plastic cups with glass ones, installed LED lighting in our warehouses, use lithium-ion batteries in our material handling equipment, just to mention a few.
As for me Corporate Social Responsibility also relates to the planet. CSR initiatives often focus on the world directly surrounding our locations. Many of these are started by our employees. Examples are World Cleanup Day, in which we participated across different locations around the world. Other local initiatives include sailing the Charity Regatta Race for children in need suffering from cancer, encouraging blood donation to save lives, or our staff painting and redecorating an orphan house.
For the external part, we believe in enabling our customers to lower their carbon footprint. We work closely together to look for more sustainable solutions for their supply chain challenges. Sustainable solutions are not always the cheapest option, so we are happy to see that many customers join us in the effort to reduce the carbon footprint in supply chains. There are many opportunities. We support our customers with sustainability projects ranging from redesigning their supply chain to optimizing routes to helping them shift their transportation needs towards more sustainable modes of transport. Our in-house data analytics team is a key differentiator in many of these projects.
Companies need to make a profit, of course. We help many customers to raise their profit margins by increasing the efficiency of their supply chain and logistics flows. We have developed route optimization algorithms to improve efficiency, increase the truck loading factor, decrease empty trips, and save cost.
In order to have a clear picture of their supply chain operations’ carbon footprint, we have developed a CO2 calculator. By examining this data, we can start working on scenarios for reduction, enabling our customers to make the right decisions based on accurate data and the correct analysis. We strongly believe that in the long run, choosing the sustainable option will increase profitability.
There is no planet B
We only have one planet, and we need to take good care of it. There is no Planet B. But there is a profitable and sustainable Plan B. Let us help you find how to reduce the carbon footprint of your supply chain and increase your profitability. Contact one of our experts or get a conversation started with our CEO, Stefan Van Doorslaer. He will be happy to tell you more about what we are doing and how we can support you.
- Authored by - Stefan Van Doorslaer, Group CEO, Ahlers
Our aim is to deliver high-quality services, enabling customers to focus on their core business, offering innovative, sustainable, and tailor-made solutions beyond logistics, constantly fostering innovation, whilst promoting sustainable technologies and behaviors. We do this using smart data analytics and innovative monitoring tools.
We have developed an in-house solution that calculates the CO2 emissions of our customers. Knowing where you stand, enables you to take the appropriate action. Actively reducing your CO2 emission can have a positive impact on transport costs and lowers the environmental impact on our world.
The Ahlers CO2 calculator is a real add-on for your supply network analysis. The tool goes further than the simple add-up of estimated data you can find online. And since the calculation is better than estimation, we have created a system that is based on the guidelines dictated by the in European standard CEN-EN16258 on what such a calculation should entail.
CARBON CALCULATOR. Know your footprint
The simple, fast, and reliable solution for calculating emissions generated for your shipments.
Ahlers helps customers increase efficiency, decrease emissions
- We offer several options for minimizing and/or avoiding logistics-related emissions. Ahlers’ CO2 calculations supported the implementation of modal shifts with our customer BP moving from truck to barge. Every container going over water instead of the land saved up to 64,71kg CO2 emissions - approx. 50% reduction compared to road transport.
- Our customer International Paper was looking for a way to reduce the carbon footprint of its distribution network in Europe. They were experimenting with different transportation modes on a certain lane. By using the CO2 calculator, and GLEC framework, Ahlers was able to precisely calculate changes in CO2 emissions over time, with different modes of transport on different lanes, even on shipment level.
Ahlers helps customers reduce greenhouse gasses
- We help companies mitigating risk within their value chains unlock new innovations and collaborations and respond to mounting pressure and changing the way they look at problematic supply chains.
- Looking at horizontal collaboration, we seek new ways customers can benefit from supply network matchmaking, providing transport overlap analysis, ultimately driving GHG reductions. We can do this looking at internal transportation collaboration between business units, during company mergers & acquisitions or external transportation collaboration e.g. identify network transport overlap with other companies as a neutral trustee.
Everything we do at Ahlers is inspired by a sustainable customer-centric mindset, guided by a skilled leadership, and guaranteed by full transparency and the highest standards helping customers gain actionable insights and reducing GHG.