FAIR & RESPONSIBLE LOGISTICS
The intersection between the need to remain competitive while at the same time increasing sustainability has triggered growth in ’fair and responsible logistics’. Logistics providers can meet both demands by providing new services that generate revenue while also improving the welfare of society and protecting the environment. Key application areas focus on circular logistics concepts and facilitating fair access, production, and trade.
Key Developments & Implications
Consumers are increasingly basing their buying decisions on whether a product was sourced, manufactured, and transported in a fair and responsible manner. Recent legislation, such as the European Union’s ban on the use of plastic packaging by 2030, and commitments by major cities to become carbon neutral are further challenging companies to move from traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices to place sustainability at the core of their business. Looking ahead, innovation in circular logistics infrastructure and the adoption of digital identifiers as well as IoT, blockchain, and other traceability technologies will further accelerate fair and responsible behavior along supply chains.
Circular logistics focuses on the development of new logistics services and infrastructure solutions that enable a circular economy. First ideas integrate recycling into the logistics infrastructure. For example, delivery trucks can pick up recycling goods on their return routes and drop these off at warehouses; they require dedicated areas for inspection, repair and recycling. Sustainable packaging concepts are also key to enabling efficient, safe transport and storage of used goods (e.g., damaged lithium batteries).
Fair access to logistics services may foster the ’go local’ movement and potentially improve living conditions and economies in developing as well as developed regions. Logistics providers can support local businesses by bringing their fair and regionally produced goods to the global marketplace. This could include specialized transportation solutions such as first-mile collection in hard-to-access areas and new types of flexible micro-fulfillment services for local businesses.
Responsible end-to-end logistics chains incorporate fair production and trade practices at each stage of the supply chain. Logistics providers can drive transparency and traceability by providing services such as identifying responsibility risks, and can certify processes to confirm they are conducted in a responsible manner (e.g., labor conditions, environmental impact).
Questions answered in this report:
- What is the meaning of fair and responsible business?
- What are some of the leading fair and responsible business practices across different industries?
- What are some of the key use cases for fair and responsible logistics and, specifically, what do successful logistics approaches look like?
Talk to an Expert
Head of Innovation
Americas and Trend Research, DHL
Gina Chung leads the research and innovation activities of DHL and is in charge of the DHL Americas Innovation Center: a state-of-the-art platform to engage startups and industries on the future of logistics. Since 2012, she has shaped DHL’s global innovation agenda by driving a portfolio of projects focused on the rapid testing and adoption of technologies such as collaborative robotics and artificial intelligence across DHL’s operations. Prior to her current role, she also led the development of DHL’s trend research series including co-authoring publications such as IoT in Logistics together with Cisco and the DHL Logistics Trend Radar. Gina is based in Chicago and holds two degrees from the University of Auckland.