Earth Day 50th anniversary: how can supply chains lead the charge on climate action?


As Earth Day turns 50 and focuses its attention on climate action, the best way companies can make an immediate impact on the environment is to design a more efficient supply chain. While COVID-19 has been spreading around the world and dominating headlines, the need to take climate action has remained more urgent than ever before.


Ryan Purcell, Director, Global Impact at Llamasoft, shares his thoughts on how the supply chain can lead the charge:


“In response to lockdown initiatives global CO2 emissions are down, but this must not lull the world into a false sense of security. With the global economy almost at standstill, this is clearly not a sustainable method to tackle climate change. Once the crisis begins to subside, we must find and build alternative methods to achieve sustainability; I believe the supply chain industry can lead the way.


One of the greatest contributors to air pollution and CO2 emissions is transportation, making up almost a quarter of the global CO2 emissions. These numbers can be cut down drastically. Yet, just 30% of companies are incorporating sustainability into their supply chain decisions. Organisations must take demand densities into consideration, optimally positioning their inventory in response, cutting down transportation distances and fuel consumption, and evaluating less emissions-intensive transport modes.


To make this a reality, companies must be able to look at their whole supply chain, from the first to the last mile. Technology such as digital twins enable this, as you can digitally replicate and test your supply chain strategy. This means you can efficiently load and route trucks and take advantage of backhaul opportunities. Using this technology the industry can look ahead: towards a supply chain which is both profitable and environmentally friendly.”