How We’re Leading the Logistics Industry Into a More Sustainable Future
When my cofounder, Nick Bartlett, and I decided to found CBIP, we were guided by a couple of key questions:
- How can we make a difference in logistics?
- How can we build a company that lasts?
Leaving a company that our children would be proud to take over means worrying about more than just financials and margins. It means creating business models that improve our world. For us, that meant a commitment to sustainability in our private lives as well as in how we conduct our business.
We’re proud to say that we are now one of Asia’s very first carbon-neutral logistics providers – but it didn’t happen overnight. We want to share our story about how we got there.
Logistics has had little reason to change
For all logistics businesses, adopting new eco-friendly technologies is no small task. There are few industries that cause more pollution. Large amounts of fuel are needed to power the ships, trucks, and airplanes moving goods around the world every minute of the day. Millions of boxes are wrapped, unwrapped, and discarded every day too.
Most companies turn a blind eye to their emissions as it can be difficult to manage at every step of the supply chain while remaining profitable — and most customers pick providers for their speed, not their cleanliness. But we couldn’t just accept “too difficult” as an excuse. We decided to take action.
Our roadmap for greener logistics
To push sustainability forward, we look to the UN’s 17 goals for sustainable development defined in its 2030 plan.
These goals outline a pathway that “emphasizes peace and prosperity for the planet which…works to preserve the planet’s natural environment and mitigate climate change.”
Of the 17, we think these two are among the most important for CBIP:
- Goal 13: Climate Change - Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production - Ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns.
To accomplish these goals we are focusing on investing in green, sustainable, and socially beneficial projects in the regions where we create carbon emissions. In order to get to that greener future in logistics, we educate and encourage our partners to do their part in the following ways:
- We make sure our team is aware of their individual impacts on the environment and we encourage and enable them to do their part. That’s everything from considering transportation to and from the office to replacing plastic with reusable cups,
- We extend expectations surrounding green practices and carbon offset goals towards all potential employees and prospective clients.
- We ask our suppliers to submit carbon emissions reports to us each month, and we survey them to find out what improvements they may implement to lower their emissions.
We believe that the best way to reach our goals is to be on the same page as all of the people we work with–and we hold to that.
How we fund local conservation
We realized we needed to focus our efforts to offset emissions not just in our providers but in the regions we operate in too. That is why we partnered with South Pole, an organization that gives companies the option to choose their own climate action projects all over the world.
The projects we take part in through South Pole aim to mitigate the effect our emissions have on the local environment and native groups. For instance, if we are emitting a large amount of carbon by shipping from Vietnam, South Pole helps us select a Vietnam-based project. Through this initiative, we help fund renewable energy, clean water, and solar power initiatives. We also find educational programs teaching the next generation how to care for the environment.
While it’s a tough battle to fight, Nick and I hope to we’ll have made a positive difference in the logistics industry when we retire. We need clear skies and oceans to make sure goods keep moving for generations to come.