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The Role of Real-Time Visibility & Other Technologies to Meet Logistics Sustainability in 2023

April 14, 2023

February 5, 2024

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In recent years, the importance of logistics sustainability in the supply chain has become increasingly evident.

For instance, Mark Althen, the president of Penske Logistics, told Forbes in 2020: "The ability to monitor goods in real-time, analyze data, and make decisions that improve the flow of goods and materials is fundamental to In recent years, the importance of logistics sustainability in the supply chain has become increasingly evident.

A year later, Mark Holifield, the EVP of Supply Chain for The Home Depot, echoed those sentiments. "Real-time visibility is critical to our supply chain operations, as it allows us to make informed decisions and adjust our plans in response to changing circumstances,” Holifield told the audience during the 15th Annual BGSA Supply Chain Conference. “We use a variety of digital technologies, including machine learning and AI, to collect and analyze data from across our supply chain network. This enables us to quickly identify and address any issues that arise, and to continuously optimize our operations for efficiency and cost-effectiveness."

The pressure to achieve greater logistics sustainability throughout global supply chains has never been higher. From reducing carbon emissions to promoting social responsibility, companies recognize the importance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives in maintaining their social license and long-term viability. This article explores the growing focus on ESG initiatives and the role of real-time visibility, digital technologies, and collaboration in meeting logistics sustainability goals in 2023.

The Role of Supply Chain Technologies in Achieving ESG Initiatives

A sustainable and responsible supply chain can help reduce a company's environmental impact, improve social conditions, and enhance governance practices. Real-time visibility and technology are crucial as companies leverage real-time visibility, digital tools, and analytics to better track and analyze their supply chain data—enabling data-driven decisions that improve efficiency and reduce waste. Collaboration platforms can also improve supplier engagement and communication, making it easier to share information and work toward common sustainability goals. A closer look at these areas follows.

Increased Transparency

Supply chain professionals aiming to achieve logistics sustainability are leveraging real-time visibility solutions like Tive Solo 5G trackers to increase transparency—across all stages and modes of transport. By offering end-to-end visibility, these solutions enable companies to:

  • Identify and address inefficiencies
  • Prevent food waste
  • Reduce carbon emissions

As ESG becomes a more significant focus for investors and customers alike, enhanced transparency in the supply chain helps companies showcase their commitment to environmental, social, and governance goals.

Improved Supplier Engagement

Engaging suppliers has become a priority as companies strive to adopt better ESG practices that support logistics sustainability. By creating ESG metrics for suppliers and clearly communicating these expectations, businesses can foster a more collaborative and transparent relationship with their suppliers. This, in turn, helps identify and mitigate potential ESG risks—while driving continuous improvement in the supply chain.

Better Data Management

Advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, are critical in managing ESG data effectively. By providing actionable insights, these tools help companies identify areas for improvement, optimize resource usage, and reduce waste. Companies can use this data to make informed decisions and drive sustainable practices throughout their supply chain, resulting in lower carbon emissions and better alignment with ESG goals.

Increased Efficiency

Real-time visibility solutions enable companies to minimize inefficiencies—such as empty miles and dwell time—which contribute to higher carbon emissions. Companies can significantly improve efficiency by optimizing routes, reducing idle time, and ensuring better coordination between shippers and carriers, leading to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly supply chain.

Stakeholder Engagement

As customers, investors, and regulators increasingly demand sustainable practices, engaging stakeholders has become essential in driving ESG initiatives. Real-time visibility solutions offer companies the opportunity to showcase their commitment to sustainability—and gain the trust of stakeholders. By providing traceability and demonstrating their ESG progress, companies can attract responsible investments, enhance customer loyalty, and comply with evolving regulations.

Logistics Professionals’ Role in Driving Sustainability Efforts 

Logistics professionals are crucial in driving sustainability goals by transforming supply chains to be more eco-friendly and efficient. They are responsible for making strategic decisions related to the procurement, transportation, and distribution of goods, which can significantly impact a company's carbon footprint and overall sustainability performance.

Challenges & Opportunities in Implementing Sustainable Supply Chains

Despite the increasing focus on sustainable supply chains, companies often face challenges—such as a lack of visibility, upfront costs, and difficulty measuring their logistics sustainability initiatives' return on investment (ROI). However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation, improved efficiency, and better risk management. Logistics professionals can overcome these obstacles by embracing new technologies, adopting a holistic approach, and driving end-to-end supply chain transformation.

Importance of Visibility & ROI-backed Initiatives

Visibility is critical to achieving sustainable supply chain goals. Real-time visibility enables companies to track materials, understand supplier working conditions, and collect data to measure their sustainability program’s effectiveness. Implementing digital tools, data analytics, and collaboration platforms can help logistics professionals gain the necessary visibility and create a strong business case for their logistics sustainability initiatives. ROI-backed initiatives ensure that companies focus on long-term value creation, considering factors such as cost reduction, revenue growth, risk management, and intangible benefits such as customer loyalty and brand reputation. 

Focus on End-to-End Supply Chain Transformation

To create a truly sustainable supply chain, logistics professionals must look beyond procurement and focus on end-to-end transformation—including planning, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution. This requires cross-functional collaboration with other departments, such as finance and risk management, to identify and capitalize on opportunities for improvement. By leveraging available tax incentives and grants—and exploring innovative technological solutions—logistics professionals can drive end-to-end supply chain transformation that benefits both the environment and the company's bottom line.

Expanding the Business Case for Sustainable Supply Chains

Sustainable supply chains offer more than just cost savings and efficiency gains. Companies that invest in logistics sustainability can also see revenue growth, better risk management, and intangible benefits such as customer loyalty and brand reputation. Furthermore, focusing on sustainability can have long-term impacts on share price and shareholder value, making it a smart investment for companies looking toward the future.

Practical Steps to Implement Sustainable Supply Chain Initiatives

Implementing sustainable supply chain initiatives requires:

  • Aligning supply chain goals with organizational-wide commitments
  • Improving real-time visibility and traceability
  • Deploying technological capabilities for better engagement and data sharing
  • Broadening ROI measurement to include intangible impacts
  • Moving beyond procurement to capture benefits across the entire supply chain

Leveraging tax incentives and grants can also make it easier to implement logistics sustainability initiatives and drive transformation.

Learning from Trailblazers in Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Many companies are considered trailblazers in sustainable supply chain management—and others can learn from them. These companies prioritize transparency and public-facing goals, focus on employee quality of life and brand protection, and see financial benefits and increased share price expectations as a result of their sustainability efforts. Examples include the following:

  • Microsoft: In January 2021, Microsoft announced that it would be carbon negative by 2030—and by 2050, it would have removed all the carbon it has emitted since its founding in 1975. In addition, the company aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Regarding social initiatives, Microsoft plans to provide digital skills training to 25 million people worldwide by 2025.
  • Nestle: Nestle has set a goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025, and has also committed to using 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.
  • Unilever: Unilever has committed to becoming a net-zero company by 2039, including reducing emissions from its operations and supply chain. The company has set a goal to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023, and plans to invest €1 billion in climate change initiatives over the next decade.
  • Walmart: Walmart has set a goal to become a zero-emission company by 2040. To achieve this goal, the company plans to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035, and transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles by 2040.

These are just a few examples of companies that have shared quantifiable ESG initiatives and goals for 2023. Many other companies have set similar goals—and are taking action to reduce their environmental impact and improve their social and governance practices. Whatever the goal, these companies share a common need for greater real-time visibility.

Tive Provides the Real-Time Visibility Solutions Needed to Improve Logistics Sustainability

Real-time visibility and technology are essential in achieving logistics sustainability goals that help drive effective supply chain management. By expanding the business case for sustainable supply chains and taking practical steps to implement these initiatives, companies can create long-term value, improve their environmental impact, and ensure their continued success in an often volatile global marketplace. With the support of logistics professionals and trailblazers in the field, sustainable supply chains can become the norm—creating a more sustainable future for all.

Tive founder and CEO Krenar Komoni envisions just that—a world working together to reach ESG initiatives and logistics sustainability to ensure good stewardship of the environment and its resources. Learn more about how Tive’s single-use or multi-use trackers and its Get Green Program help drive sustainable logistics.our business. Technology has allowed us to optimize freight movement in ways that were not previously possible. We can now see what is happening at any given point in time and make decisions that drive efficiencies and reduce costs."

A year later, Mark Holifield, the EVP of Supply Chain for The Home Depot, echoed those sentiments. "Real-time visibility is critical to our supply chain operations, as it allows us to make informed decisions and adjust our plans in response to changing circumstances,” Holifield told the audience during the 15th Annual BGSA Supply Chain Conference. “We use a variety of digital technologies, including machine learning and AI, to collect and analyze data from across our supply chain network. This enables us to quickly identify and address any issues that arise, and to continuously optimize our operations for efficiency and cost-effectiveness."

The pressure to achieve greater logistics sustainability throughout global supply chains has never been higher. From reducing carbon emissions to promoting social responsibility, companies recognize the importance of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives in maintaining their social license and long-term viability. This article explores the growing focus on ESG initiatives and the role of real-time visibility, digital technologies, and collaboration in meeting logistics sustainability goals in 2023.

The Role of Supply Chain Technologies in Achieving ESG Initiatives

A sustainable and responsible supply chain can help reduce a company's environmental impact, improve social conditions, and enhance governance practices. Real-time visibility and technology are crucial as companies leverage real-time visibility, digital tools, and analytics to better track and analyze their supply chain data—enabling data-driven decisions that improve efficiency and reduce waste. Collaboration platforms can also improve supplier engagement and communication, making it easier to share information and work toward common sustainability goals. A closer look at these areas follows.

Increased Transparency

Supply chain professionals aiming to achieve logistics sustainability are leveraging real-time visibility solutions like Tive Solo 5G trackers to increase transparency—across all stages and modes of transport. By offering end-to-end visibility, these solutions enable companies to:

  • Identify and address inefficiencies
  • Prevent food waste
  • Reduce carbon emissions

As ESG becomes a more significant focus for investors and customers alike, enhanced transparency in the supply chain helps companies showcase their commitment to environmental, social, and governance goals.

Improved Supplier Engagement

Engaging suppliers has become a priority as companies strive to adopt better ESG practices that support logistics sustainability. By creating ESG metrics for suppliers and clearly communicating these expectations, businesses can foster a more collaborative and transparent relationship with their suppliers. This, in turn, helps identify and mitigate potential ESG risks—while driving continuous improvement in the supply chain.

Better Data Management

Advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, are critical in managing ESG data effectively. By providing actionable insights, these tools help companies identify areas for improvement, optimize resource usage, and reduce waste. Companies can use this data to make informed decisions and drive sustainable practices throughout their supply chain, resulting in lower carbon emissions and better alignment with ESG goals.

Increased Efficiency

Real-time visibility solutions enable companies to minimize inefficiencies—such as empty miles and dwell time—which contribute to higher carbon emissions. Companies can significantly improve efficiency by optimizing routes, reducing idle time, and ensuring better coordination between shippers and carriers, leading to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly supply chain.

Stakeholder Engagement

As customers, investors, and regulators increasingly demand sustainable practices, engaging stakeholders has become essential in driving ESG initiatives. Real-time visibility solutions offer companies the opportunity to showcase their commitment to sustainability—and gain the trust of stakeholders. By providing traceability and demonstrating their ESG progress, companies can attract responsible investments, enhance customer loyalty, and comply with evolving regulations.

Logistics Professionals’ Role in Driving Sustainability Efforts 

Logistics professionals are crucial in driving sustainability goals by transforming supply chains to be more eco-friendly and efficient. They are responsible for making strategic decisions related to the procurement, transportation, and distribution of goods, which can significantly impact a company's carbon footprint and overall sustainability performance.

Challenges & Opportunities in Implementing Sustainable Supply Chains

Despite the increasing focus on sustainable supply chains, companies often face challenges—such as a lack of visibility, upfront costs, and difficulty measuring their logistics sustainability initiatives' return on investment (ROI). However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation, improved efficiency, and better risk management. Logistics professionals can overcome these obstacles by embracing new technologies, adopting a holistic approach, and driving end-to-end supply chain transformation.

Importance of Visibility & ROI-backed Initiatives

Visibility is critical to achieving sustainable supply chain goals. Real-time visibility enables companies to track materials, understand supplier working conditions, and collect data to measure their sustainability program’s effectiveness. Implementing digital tools, data analytics, and collaboration platforms can help logistics professionals gain the necessary visibility and create a strong business case for their logistics sustainability initiatives. ROI-backed initiatives ensure that companies focus on long-term value creation, considering factors such as cost reduction, revenue growth, risk management, and intangible benefits such as customer loyalty and brand reputation. 

Focus on End-to-End Supply Chain Transformation

To create a truly sustainable supply chain, logistics professionals must look beyond procurement and focus on end-to-end transformation—including planning, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution. This requires cross-functional collaboration with other departments, such as finance and risk management, to identify and capitalize on opportunities for improvement. By leveraging available tax incentives and grants—and exploring innovative technological solutions—logistics professionals can drive end-to-end supply chain transformation that benefits both the environment and the company's bottom line.

Expanding the Business Case for Sustainable Supply Chains

Sustainable supply chains offer more than just cost savings and efficiency gains. Companies that invest in logistics sustainability can also see revenue growth, better risk management, and intangible benefits such as customer loyalty and brand reputation. Furthermore, focusing on sustainability can have long-term impacts on share price and shareholder value, making it a smart investment for companies looking toward the future.

Practical Steps to Implement Sustainable Supply Chain Initiatives

Implementing sustainable supply chain initiatives requires:

  • Aligning supply chain goals with organizational-wide commitments
  • Improving real-time visibility and traceability
  • Deploying technological capabilities for better engagement and data sharing
  • Broadening ROI measurement to include intangible impacts
  • Moving beyond procurement to capture benefits across the entire supply chain

Leveraging tax incentives and grants can also make it easier to implement logistics sustainability initiatives and drive transformation.

Learning from Trailblazers in Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Many companies are considered trailblazers in sustainable supply chain management—and others can learn from them. These companies prioritize transparency and public-facing goals, focus on employee quality of life and brand protection, and see financial benefits and increased share price expectations as a result of their sustainability efforts. Examples include the following:

  • Microsoft: In January 2021, Microsoft announced that it would be carbon negative by 2030—and by 2050, it would have removed all the carbon it has emitted since its founding in 1975. In addition, the company aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Regarding social initiatives, Microsoft plans to provide digital skills training to 25 million people worldwide by 2025.
  • Nestle: Nestle has set a goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025, and has also committed to using 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.
  • Unilever: Unilever has committed to becoming a net-zero company by 2039, including reducing emissions from its operations and supply chain. The company has set a goal to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023, and plans to invest €1 billion in climate change initiatives over the next decade.
  • Walmart: Walmart has set a goal to become a zero-emission company by 2040. To achieve this goal, the company plans to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035, and transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles by 2040.

These are just a few examples of companies that have shared quantifiable ESG initiatives and goals for 2023. Many other companies have set similar goals—and are taking action to reduce their environmental impact and improve their social and governance practices. Whatever the goal, these companies share a common need for greater real-time visibility.

Tive Provides the Real-Time Visibility Solutions Needed to Improve Logistics Sustainability

Real-time visibility and technology are essential in achieving logistics sustainability goals that help drive effective supply chain management. By expanding the business case for sustainable supply chains and taking practical steps to implement these initiatives, companies can create long-term value, improve their environmental impact, and ensure their continued success in an often volatile global marketplace. With the support of logistics professionals and trailblazers in the field, sustainable supply chains can become the norm—creating a more sustainable future for all.

Tive founder and CEO Krenar Komoni envisions just that—a world working together to reach ESG initiatives and logistics sustainability to ensure good stewardship of the environment and its resources. Learn more about how Tive’s single-use or multi-use trackers and its Get Green Program help drive sustainable logistics.

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