Friday, June 14, 2024

Look to lifecycle for sustainability

The logistics industry should look beyond its direct emissions when determining its environmental impact, according to SAI Global.

The global risk management provider says the industry must consider a lifecycle perspective to operations and products – starting from the acquisition of materials, to transportation of the product, and their end-of life-treatment.

“Parcel and freight companies are increasingly demonstrating a commitment to ethical, sustainable, and environmentally friendly practices across their operations,” says Saeid Nikdel, environmental management systems expert at SAI Global.

“Many are also choosing to partner with businesses in their supply chain that do the same.”

This is where certifying to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems comes into its own, he says, noting it is a clear indication that an organisation is committed to monitoring and managing its environmental impact across its entire operation.

The ISO 14001 management system provides organisations with a framework to help identify impacts on the environment, define controls to prevent and reduce pollution, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

“Typical stages of a product/service lifecycle include raw material acquisition, design, production, transportation/delivery, material usage, end-of-life treatment, and final disposal, and organisations need to determine these within the scope of their environmental management system.”

Mr Nikdel says there are also numerous business benefits to be achieved from ISO 14001 certification:

  • improving customer and stakeholder perception
  • providing a point of difference from competitors who are not certified
  • potentially reduced insurance premiums
  • lower waste handling and disposal costs
  • creating a positive brand image through demonstrating environmental awareness and responsibility
  • easing of management of environmental risks
  • improving the ability to respond to regulatory compliance
  • reducing environmental offences and the associated legal costs and financial penalties that may arise from prosecution.

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