The Lean and Green example
Supply chain innovation can be encouraged in many ways. Consumer organizations and NGOs can initiate programs to increase awareness of sustainability and innovation. Individual companies, Industry sector organizations, government, and knowledge institutes can setup initiatives to promote innovation and achieve better sustainability.
In this article we look at an example of such a program: Lean & Green
Lean and Green was initiated in 2008 by Connekt: a Dutch non-profit network for sustainable mobility. It aims to encourage businesses and government bodies to move to a higher level of sustainability, by taking measures that do not only yield cost savings, but reduce the burden on the environment at the same time. Lean and Green is for every company or governmental body with the intention to move to a higher level of sustainability, by optimizing mobility processes. Lean & Green has expanded to multiple European Countries and continues to grow. The program has been successful in getting companies to commit to reduce emissions. Also, by creating a community with Lean and Green participants from member companies, knowledge is effectively shared.
The website (Lean-green.eu) describes the program as:
“Lean and Green aims to encourage businesses and government bodies to move to a higher level of sustainability, by taking measures that do not only yield cost savings, but reduce the burden on the environment at the same time. If an organisation can demonstrate through a plan of action that it will be able to reduce its CO2-emissions by 20% within five years’ time, it becomes eligible for the Lean and Green Award. If the objective in the plan of action is actually achieved, the organisation is awarded its first Lean and Green Star. With the Lean and Green Award, organisations can show that they are actively engaged in making their logistics and mobility process more sustainable. That is something to be proud of. Lean and Green is based on three organization pillars: Lean and Green Logistics, Lean and Green Personal Mobility and Lean and Green Synchromodal (inland shipping in the container supply chain). Companies offering a product or service that contributes to the reduction of CO2-emissions and to the reduction of costs are invited to apply for the predicate Lean and Green Solution.”
Lean & Green now includes more than 400 shippers, retailers and logistic service providers working together to reduce their emissions, already active in five European countries.
In an evaluation of the first 5 years of the Lean and Green program (see Lean and green: creating a network community for sustainable logistics – reference below) an overview of in tot 194 measures to increase decrease CO2 were identified. These include the following top-10:
- Monitoring fuel efficiency, including information to drivers
- Use of LHV (Long and Heavy Vehicle, up to 25.25 meter long and 60 tonnes)
- More sustainable truck fleet
- Improvement in truck loading percentage
- Monitoring/improving driving style of drivers
- Bundling for transports for different companies
- Periodic check of tire pressure
- Use of cleaner fuel sources (bio fuels, hybrid/electric)
- Coordination of delivery times
- Use of intermodal transport
In the evaluation reports (see Lean and green: creating a network community for sustainable logistics – reference below), lessons learned are summarized from Lean and Green:
- Provide recognition through various levels of awards (Frontrunners, * and ** Awards) and visibility (Lean and green logo’s on trucks, events and seminars)
- Create a community for knowledge creation and sharing (participating professionals develop and share ideas
- Encourage active participation and sharing of knowledge
- Measure results in assessing emission reduction
- Organize challenges (Speed docking challenge, organized by Mars Netherlands and H.J. Heinz, in which companies from all over the Netherlands compete in bringing back the average docking time of a truck to a minimum)
- Have people personally commit to the goals of the program (the program appointed six Ambassadors, who act as role models and regularly join discussions and give presentations for potential new entrants)
In addition the program developed several tools:
- GREEN ORDER® tool, which can be used to calculate the CO 2 emissions connected to ordering and procurement
- The GREEN TENDER tool, which was designed by the Frontrunning shippers InterfaceFLOR, Mars Netherlands and H.J. Heinz to incorporate sustainability in transport tendering;
- The GREEN CARE TRANSPORT™ tool, which was designed by Frontrunning shipper SCA Hygiene Netherlands, and can be used by shippers, transport companies and retailers to organize shipments more efficiently and save CO 2 emissions;
These success factors can be an inspiration for adopting or setting up sustainability and innovation programs.
Anten, N., Van Amstel, W. P., & Verweij, K. (2014, April). Lean and green: creating a network community for sustainable logistics. In Transport Research Arena (TRA) 5th Conference: Transport Solutions from Research to Deployment.
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