Latest Report Highlights The Role of Sustainability within Materials Handling & Logistics

Joloda Hydraroll are experts in material handling for loading and unloading processes. Today, it announces the findings from its latest research, which explores the role of sustainability across materials handling and logistics industries

With the industry wrestling with soaring inflation, fast-rising power and raw materials costs, global supply chain disruption and a devastating labour shortage, Joloda Hydraroll commissioned SAPIO Research during January 2022 to explore the environmental and sustainability-related pressures that organisations with warehouses, fulfilment or distribution centres face now, and expect to experience in the future.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) raised environmental awareness in the UK and prompted the government to escalate its expectations from businesses. Additionally, to meet the UK government’s targets for net zero and demands for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies – sustainability should be at the top of all companies’ agendas.

However, as shown in the results, too few companies have taken the time to truly explore the opportunities available – and how they could, with the right approach, address more than one challenge at a time, both to deliver net zero and to deliver an array of commercial benefits.

In the research, it was also found that the majority of companies still lack awareness and understanding of the diverse automation technologies available to transform operations. This significant gap in education needs to be addressed if the intralogistics industry is to achieve essential improvements in performance to meet financial and sustainability goals.

Summary of key findings include:
  • Escalating pressure: 88% say their company is feeling some level of pressure from environmental sustainability issues, and this is expected to increase in the future – with some of the pressure coming from the government.
  • Significant operational changes: 37% confirm their organisation has had to make substantial changes to contribute to sustainability efforts.
  • Automation drive: 79% are already changing or looking to change to automation in the future to help with labour constraints.

Additionally, when asked to define the environmental issues respondents’ companies were both taking seriously and committing to, it appears businesses are taking the easiest options first. By far the most widespread change made by businesses within the materials handling and intralogistics sector is a focus on waste management: nearly two in three include this as part of their company objectives. However, respondents agreed this is just the start of sustainable business strategies and objectives, and a key area of the results highlighted the positive outcomes that such environmental commitments will have.

Wouter Satijn, Sales Director at Joloda Hydraroll (pictured right) concludes: “It is clear that sustainable commitments are beginning to affect a business’s competitive position, regardless of company size. Many aspects of this process are simple box-ticking and must be considered going forwards, especially with stakeholder expectations rising, as emphasised in our report.

“A business case for automation must now incorporate the environmental impact – and it is by embedding efficiency, cost-saving, productivity, carbon footprint and employee wellbeing, that businesses can prioritise and maximise ROI, from both a financial and sustainable perspective. Sustainability cannot be considered in isolation – it should be core to any automation business case.”

To find the full research by Joloda Hydraroll and learn about the sustainability issues across the logistics and material handling industry, please download the white paper here.


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