The primary practices involving green logistics include sustainable strategies that focus on the integration of environmental conservation in transportation and supply chain businesses. The theory of green logistics started during the 1990s. At this time, the standard logistic infrastructure had severe impacts on the environment as the levels of accidents, climate change, traffic jams, air, and noise pollutions were very high. The solution to all these issues vests in adopting conservational techniques, as well as developing sustainable logistics. However, many paradoxes are arising from greener logistic systems, making it hard for companies to implement the concept. The research aims to explore green logistics alongside its consequences on the environment.
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Objectives of the Research
The paper focuses on the following three objectives:
- To explore the status of green logistics in the world.
- To determine challenges impacting the application of green logistics.
- To establish a solution to the emerging problems that affect green logistics.
The research was guided by the following study questions:
- What is the status of green logistics in the world?
- What are the challenges facing the global utilization of green logistics in the world?
- What are the solutions for the challenges affecting green logistics in the world?
Understanding Green Logistics
The rapid development of economics, globalization, and technological progress lead individuals to improve the quality of life worldwide. Despite the profound outcomes of such changes, the environmental damage is devastating and requires industries to take measures to save the planet. Factories leave vast volumes of waste, recyclable materials pollute land and water, and greenhouse gas emission which severely affects climate change (Aktas et al., 2018). One of the industrial reasons for such issues is transportation, with its wide usage among businesses culminating in serious ecological destruction.
Logistics is a component of supply chain management which leaves considerable carbon footprint, thereby worsening the global warming. Today, many companies work on green logistics approaches created to decrease or eliminate the environmental damage of their transport systems. Businesses started to consider the ecological factor while optimizing the delivery speed, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains (Wang et al., 2017). However, there are still many obstacles preventing the successful appliance for environmental-friendly strategies as green logistics. The problems such as high taxes, lack of governmental support, the economic instability of regions, and vehicles producers’ unawareness of the severe ecological ramifications have to be studied and evaluated to find the optimal solutions. This research aims to explore the global experience of green logistics implementation to find the most significant drawbacks and offer to determine a possible solution.
As an outcome of several requests to save the environment from destruction a well as the ever-rising complexity and diversity of organizations, green logistics is needed more than ever. At the present moment, companies are adopting different mechanisms of decreasing the negative impacts of their supply chain on the wellbeing and stability of the environment. Accordingly, the majority of firms have accomplished green logistics through surrounding environments and natural resources. The concept of green logistics was first coined during the 1980s when the application of improved technology started (Wang et al., 2017). The establishment of green logistics was meant to ensure that the problem of sustainability, specifically to the supply chain, is dealt with as needed in the environmental policies. The chart below summarizes the issues green logistics attempts to address in the modern world. The world needs green logistics to save the environment and society at large from the adverse consequences of economic growth, technological advancement, and industrialization.
Literature Review: Background Research on the Topic
Many peer-reviewed articles and scientific researches discussing green logistics, its issues, optimization, and solutions appeared during the last decade. Economists, ecologists, sociologists, and other scientists examined multiple approaches to establishing green logistics in particular regions or industries. This research’s literature review includes a description of sources studying the subject based on countries like China and the UK and manufacturers such as pharmacy and packaging. It also contains scientific material about the optimization frameworks, issues, and solutions.
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European scientists highlight the economic impact of establishing green logistics policies and the environmental benefits of the latter. Zaman and Shamsuddin (2017) evaluated the business logistic expenses of 27 European countries to conclude that a profit-oriented approach can increase dangerous fossil fuel energy consumption. The researchers suggested that the European Union should institute green supply chain regulations to keep energy demands, environmental and economic conditions balanced. In the UK, Khan and Qianli (2017) examined the influence of the national scale economic and ecological indicators on logistics strategies. The researchers assessed the relationship between the government’s financial demands and the UK’s green logistics operation performance. The results showed how the UK’s high taxes and import duties prevent businesses from decreasing the environmental damage of their logistic strategies (Khan & Qianli, 2017). The research containing economic data and policies helps scientists investigate if green logistics can be established at the legislative level.
Asia is the region with a significant logistics role, as many supply chains include shipments from its countries. The study of Khan et al. (2019) connected global logistics operations with economic, social, and environmental factors of Asian countries to examine how they promote green supply logistics operations. The findings revealed that low transporting regulations are correlated to Asia’s politically unstable regions. The existing policies encouraged more significant greenhouse gas and carbon emissions, severely affecting the environment and the citizens’ health (Khan et al., 2019). Applying green logistics strategies can help Asian countries improve their life quality and build independent national economics.
China is a crucial country for many businesses; however, not all of these companies offer ecology-friendly transporting solutions, and Chinese legislation does not include particular laws to manage it. An empirical study of the factors that influence the motivation to establish green logistics in China analyzed the companies’ willingness to decrease their environmental damage (Li, Chen & Wang, 2020). Based on the data collected, Li et al. (2020) stated that it is possible to use a policy system in correcting and supplementing market failures. Therefore, the need to improve regulatory efficacy, promote social welfare, and enhance an organization’s green logistics cannot be overemphasized. Asian countries’ experiences show the importance of governmental regulation and promotion for green logistics to take care of people’s health and force global businesses to consider the environmental factor the same way they value the profit.
BRICS contain the developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The way greenhouse logistics affects the economies can help scientists to build effective ecology-friendly approaches for most countries. Aldakhil et al. (2018) claim that “green logistics are important for achieving environmental sustainability agenda by improving socioeconomic and environmental factors, which is imperative for go for-green business in BRICS countries” (p.864). Russia is one of the association representatives which has unique transportation demands as the world’s largest country. Verstina et al. (2018) examined the Russian economy’s expenses of decreasing the emissions’ damage from various vehicles and concluded that green solutions would cost less as they offer long-term solutions for environmental problems. Developing countries can apply green logistics in their economies to speed up growth without severe consequences.
Transportation is essential for many industries, and its ecology-friendly optimization is the subject of researches attempting to discover convenient practices for most businesses. Pharmacy is the segment assessed by Turkish researchers who proposed the theory of planned behavior for application on the employees in the execution of green logistics by pharmaceutical companies (Arslan & Şar, 2018). The researchers measured managers’ attitudes towards environmental issues, product costs, transportation, storage, and order expenses. Arslan and Şar (2018) concluded that if managers can increase their ecological intention, then they are likely to raise their commitment to embracing green logistics by 52%. The employees’ awareness of the company’s ecological impact can help the businesses generate ecologically sound strategies.
The greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation can be decreased by instigating alternatives for the industry important worldwide, for example, packaging. Chaoying and Nie (2014) investigated how the packaging industry can produce more ecology-friendly products and optimize their logistics by changing the design of their goods. The scientists offered approaches to help the companies make less transportation by making compact commodities and considering the environmental factor at all production stages (Chaoying & Nie, 2014). Moreover, the compound of packaging products can also be revised to make the goods reusable and recycling.
Batch processing industries require transportation on multiple stages of their production; therefore, green logistics can vastly improve the ecological conditions worldwide if implemented by such manufactures. El-Berishy and Scholz-Reiter (2016) stated that “within the globalized market, greening the batch supply chain through an environmentally friendly logistics network design guarantees competitive advantages and meets the customers’ expectations and social responsibilities requirements” (p.8). Their research examined two case studies to generate the model of optimal costs and delivery velocities based on green logistics. The transportation expenses can be counted into the end price of a product which consumers will buy if they know that its manufacturing is ecology-friendly.
Green logistics can solve environmental problems humanity experiences today, such as climate change consequent from carbon emission and air pollution. Scientists study industrial cases, examine the alternatives to damaging substances, and evaluate different optimization strategies to find the solution for worldwide sustainable development. For example, Hilpert et al. (2013) developed an artifact that tracks greenhouse gas emissions for analysis and information diffusion to effectively implement green logistic strategies. Moreover, transportation providers should offer approaches that assist the industries in decreasing ecological damage. Wang et al. (2017) asserted that environmental issues influence several decisions on logistics in the entire supply chain, including the determination of location, selection of modal segment, sourcing of raw materials, and transport planning. The application of green transportation strategies depends on manufacturers’ locations, policies, and transitional requirements of goods. The research of Sbihi and Eglese (2010) determined how routing, reverse logistics, and distribution demands define the carbon footprints of businesses. Such studies are based on real companies’ experiences and show that many factors influence their ecological solutions.
Green practices can go beyond logistics and make businesses implement waste management and materials recovery strategies to decrease the damage. The study of Hazen et al. (2011) suggested that “consumers view products made with recycled materials to be of similar quality to that of commensurate new products” (p.382). Peer-reviewed articles disclose that environmental problems’ social and political perception affects appliance effectiveness for strategies like green logistics. Klumpp (2016) used the Jevons paradox theorems to analyze why alternative transporting approaches failed. The scientist discovered that public investment in low-emission transport could encourage society to act and decrease ecological damage.
Green logistics programs face obstacles in governance, routing design, transportation requirements, social awareness, and product costs. Aktas et al. (2018) offer multiple solutions, such as legislative changes, investment programs, route scheduling optimization, and supportive associations’ establishment to reach sustainable development. Green logistics include valuable strategies that can decrease people’s ecological impact without affecting the world’s economic growth. Green logistics is the concept that started back in the 1980s when the idea of advanced technology began. The approaches of green logistics were established to ensure the mitigation of sustainability issues. However, the process only focused on solving problems related to the supply chain by following environmental policies. In other words, professionals were considering green technology to be the same as sustainable development as both were focusing on environmentally friendly productions and distribution of goods and services. Therefore, the system consists of the management of the environmental effects of various distribution and production processes. In the management process, the system seeks to reduce energy use in production and distribution practices. At the same time, the process must eliminate waste and finally find methods of effectively treating and disposing of products.
Companies need to be aware of how their practices impact the outside environment as investors and stakeholders will not want to be related to organizations perceived as notorious for environmental destruction. Stakeholders and partners such as society, customers, the government, and other partnering firms currently demand that there must be the establishment of several regulations to stop businesses from being irresponsible. For example, due to the many negative impacts that the transport and logistics firms have on the health of the environment, the Copenhagen, Kyoto, and Rio conventions identified strategies that organizations in the transport industry should observe. One of the significant strategies entails the establishment of ISO 14000 that directs how firms must protect the environment (Dangelico & Vocalelli, 2017). Additional standards under the same class particularly deal with systems or processes such as the product life cycle and how it should be labeled as well as the general performance and evaluation. It is essential to keep in mind that the same standards are mostly concerned with environmental perceptions but not the performance point of view.
Logistical ecosystem management systems involve allowing industries to manage the industrial processes by exception. This is because such processes assist firms to identify severe differences from main plans, in addition to realizing solutions to them as they happen. Thus, such processes force the administration teams to be on their toes, particularly when dealing with environmental problems and avoiding validities that might be harmful to such firms (Ren et al., 2020). The establishment and implementation of green logistic processes are usually performed at four different levels. The first level involves the views of the customers where the firm has to look for methods of supplying products and services more conveniently and efficiently without wastage of space and including non-important packaging of non-biodegradable materials.
Next, the level involves planning in the industry where the management strives to comply with the ISO 14000 standards to assist in arranging green logistics (Dangelico & Vocalelli, 2017). Thirdly, the level follows the process and control stage where the management team is judged on how effective it is at adopting appropriate administration techniques by exception systems. Lastly, there is a need for technological advancement where organizations are required to offer more products as well as show how committed the company is in research for efficient, cleaner, and better systems. This last stage also considers the factors such as the amount of oil consumed by motor vehicles per kilometer as well as wear and tear on non-biodegradable parts of machines (Ren et al., 2020). Other considerations include the length the vehicles take to be serviced as well as how waste oil is removed for disposal.
The Status of Green Logistics in the World
Exploring the present state of green logistics in the world, it is evident that significant problems exist. There are congestions in cities that are constantly increasing because of the rising rates of traffic. Many of the huge and developed metropolitans are get challenged with difficulties related to pollution, noise, and congestion caused by cars. Additionally, the evaluation of logistics in some cities indicated that carbon emissions have degraded metropolitans because of the increasing use of heavy commercial vehicles and other machines (Islam et al., 2020). Besides, the environmental and economic feasibility of metropolitans is being impacted by the existing establishments of delivery systems in urban. In specific, the extensive use of machines and vehicles in cities increases the levels of air pollution by discharging poisonous gases including nitrogen oxide and other airborne pollutants (Rodrigue et al., 2017). Even though this is the scenario, the conservation of energy might reduce the emission of pollutant gases and slow the levels of global warming.
At present times, many firms have already undertaken a co-operative system of using electric cars with the target of achieving less traffic in cities and promoting a greener environment. Such advanced companies have vehicles that are usually parked in strategic places, which can be accessed easily by the employees to promote the transfer of goods to customers. Additionally, companies such as Tesla, Renault, Nissan, Benz, Volkswagen, and others have tried to fit the GPS in their cars to make the vehicles more efficient in helping the drivers to find the shortest roads to their destinations (Nikitas et al., 2017). The same techniques have enabled some businesses to install advanced information systems in their vehicles to help them to know the locations of their delivery trucks as well as places they are stuck.
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Using such advanced information systems and GPS technologies makes organizations analyze their routes and make choices of changing or rescheduling them to shorten journeys and avoid traffic. Significantly, many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom have started to embrace green logistics. For instance, in London, almost every car is well managed and maintained to ensure low emission levels (Khan & Qianli, 2017). In some towns, roads have to be built particularly for heavy freight commercial vehicles to divert the route of such trucks from residential areas that are prone to the effects of pollution. Some companies in developed metropolitans such as Rome and Paris have adopted a night delivery system that makes the logistic process faster as well as more efficient (Rodrigue et al., 2017). In the end, the developments facilitate the use of more environmentally-friendly vehicles and compliance with green logistics.
In America, a green logistic system has been embraced by several firms. At the present, the ministry of transportation in the U.S. has established a set of maximum emission limits for cars to force owners to maintain them as well as get rid of those vehicles that do not meet such standards (Hooftman et al., 2019). As such, Hooftman et al. (2019) noted that US Environmental Protection Agency fines individuals and organizations for violating the Clean Air Act. Additionally, the United States government always motivate vehicle owners to take them for checking since it is the only technique that will ensure all bad cars are not permitted to move on the roads (Hooftman et al., 2019). The same practices have been reciprocated in other parts of the world since presently, most nations appreciate the importance of taking care of the environment.
Green Logistics and its Inconsistencies
When evaluating the real state of green logistics in the modern business environment, most cases show that the condition might not go in hand with existing environmental support. Normally, logistics focuses on reducing the cost of transport and taking advantage of the economies of scale. Nevertheless, systems or vehicles termed as green might not be capable of coping or delivering goods with the needed speed (Zaman & Shamsuddin, 2017). Therefore, in most scenarios, firms that have just in time (JIT) strategies might be in a disadvantaged position. This is particularly when such companies are functioning in cities such as Rome and Paris where delivery has to be performed at night. In the case of France, when stocks get finished during morning hours, firms are forced to wait until evening to continue with the process of delivery (Zaman & Shamsuddin, 2017). Thus, to some point, adopting green logistics become challenging. When reliability lacks, logistics becomes non-operational since the type of system that might deliver packages on time and without breakages are ones deemed environmentally unfriendly.
Not all cases of green logistics in delivery processes are liked because of their lack of speed. Consequently, the modernization of logistics has made the number of stock stored in warehouses to shrink drastically. Nevertheless, as much as it happens this way, E-commerce has boomed in the contemporary days making it easier to adopt green logistics when delivering products.
The Future of Green Logistics
The upcoming days seem bright for green logistic systems regardless of some minor hitches that industries are experiencing. At the present, most firms have adopted the use of better and more efficient vehicles, machines, as well as equipment that are helping in the reduction of maintenance costs, fuel consumption, and the levels of the produced waste. In a nation such as Japan, the industry has designed trains that move using magnetism, therefore, reducing the harm most systems of transport cause to the ecosystem (Paskannaya & Shaban, 2019). Besides, as information and communication technology continues to progress over time, it is forecasted that most countries are likely to apply green logistics (Frehe & Teuteberg, 2017). There are increased chances of fixing GPS in vehicles to guide drivers in using the shortest routes possible, thereby avoiding more traffic and increased hours of emissions. The use of electric cars in an attempt to experience less traffic in cities and stimulate a greener environment is also on the rise (Paskannaya & Shaban, 2019) pointing to a probable future of utter exploitation of green logistics. Essentially, the expectation is that all nations will apply green logistics in the future as a way of combating environmental destruction and associated hazards.
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Current Status of Green Logistics in the World
In the contemporary world, the great emission of greenhouse gases from the transport sector has made green logistics to be a topic of concern across the globe. The topic has made environmental experts expect a promising development as well as a suitable way of managing and accessing the processes of the supply chain. The process needs to minimize severe impacts and damages to the environment. Many methods have been created in the literature and research study to address the aspects of environment rooting challenges. In the batch industries, these methods have not been fully exploited as was expected. Currently, many countries across the world have developed a two-stage method that is used to integrate the operational and tactical decision level to reduce the environmental and economic impacts of transport operations. This model has an objective of reducing the total costs of distribution and the related emissions by optimizing vehicle delivery velocity as well as their routes.
The current status of green logistics shows that globally, its proposed model has been implemented into two cases drawn from the customer goods industries which have a fast-moving rate. This implementation has resulted in minimization of cost up to a percentage of thirteen (13%) of the overall related environmental and economic costs to actual status in the test sites (Islam, et.al 2020). The consumption of basic goods as beverages, cleaning products, and fast-moving items, as well as the rapidly growing population in the world, presents a considerable problem in distribution planning worldwide. Due to the low units’ capacity of these goods, they are produced in form of batches. Plans of optimum distribution of batch products have to be created in various locations to get a high consumption rate. There has been a great rise in the consumption of goods produced by the use of batch processes worldwide. This has led to a high rate of production and distribution activities. Consequently, the distribution operation activities have led to total global transport emissions.
In recent years, the emission of greenhouse gases at the global level is majorly a result of transport activities. The transportation sector has been marked as a leading emitter with a percentage of 24% of the overall EU emission in 2019 (Islam et al., 2020). Therefore, there must be an agent investigation and integration of an appropriate model of distribution planning to control this emission in the transport sectors. In the contemporary world, there is an increasing desire to use the environment wisely and effectively to allow the stability of future generations. Sharma et al. (2017) noted that many countries are adopting green logistic systems, only pointing to a bright future regarding the concept’s utilization. Indeed, countries are working to create all the conditions for the preservation and protection of the environment, and green logistics is one way to achieve the course.
Countries have also implemented information and communication technologies in green logistics. Frehe and Teuteberg (2017) ascertained that nations are working on adopting information and communication technologies to improve green logistics. At the same time, environmental sustainability has risen to be the top agenda as the primary driver of innovation. Consequently, many companies have rapidly expanded and customers have developed an eagerness to only deal with green products. Hence, to some extent, green logistics affect consumers’ willingness to pay more for greener products. Companies should, therefore, consider manufacturing and distributing environmentally friendly products as a strategy for winning more customers.
Countries are highly participating in the research of green logistics as an exploration topic. Europe, Asia, and North America have become the leading continents in studies on green logistics and consider this as a field of global concern. The United States and Mainland China have become the leading nations in publication and citation of the field of green logistics. Other nations as well as regions, including Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore present a reduced number of publications and citations (Ren et al., 2019). Nevertheless, the same countries with less publication and citation keep considerable figures of the average normalized citation which could highly express their strong influence. Additionally, most of the data from these nations were published in the last three years, meaning that they are playing an important and active role in promoting green logistics.
Green technology, environmental science, electronic devices, and environmental monitoring are increasingly being applied in conserving the natural environment, thus keeping it free from contamination. Particularly, the green environment has lately encountered reduced waste associated with decreased carbon footprint by firms. Comparing green technology with traditional technology shows that it consumes reduced energy. Recently, green technology is used in hosting jobs in the market due to its advantages. Green technology includes renewable energy, air purification, water purification, sewage treatment, and environmental remediation.
Examples of the Modern Green Logistics
Renewable energy can be easily restored at the same rate at which it was used. Many years ago, people were using sources of energy such as the sun, water, and wood to meet their daily needs related to energy consumption. Natural sources like the sun and wind are still used in the production of energy as they are considered renewable sources. Technologies that are popularly and widely embraced throughout the world today include geothermal, wind, hydro, and solar. Individuals, corporations, and many countries today are adopting these renewable energies for various benefits. For instance, renewable energy cannot be exhausted as the technologies employ resources that are direct from the environment in the generation of power.
Renewable energy has a low cost as compared to those using traditional fuel, for instance, the generator. This is because there is no flammable, combustible fuel, or moving parts in generating technology such as wind turbines and solar panels (Arslan & Şar, 2018). By using renewable energy, one will be able to save money in the long run. For instance, one will not incur financial resources as operation and maintenance costs. There is ideally no payment of fuel when using technology that procreates power from wind, steam, or even sun (Aktas et al., 2018). Renewable energy also has environmental and many health benefits. Sources used in the generation of renewable energy mostly produce little pollutants or even no greenhouse gases in the air. This means that there is no emission of carbon footprints, hence leading to positive effects on the environment. Fossil fuel mostly produces large amounts of greenhouse gases during the process of combustion leading to a rise in global warming (Sbihi & Eglese, 2010). These pollutants are risky to human health as they can cause cardiac and respiratory issues. By making use of renewable energy, the pollutants are avoided, thereby creating a healthier atmosphere for human life.
Water purification is another area that involves the idea of having water that is free from pollution or germs. Green technology is incorporated in water purification across the world. To increase the clean water for drinking in the places where water is not available or scarce, green technology is applied to remove salt from saline water and purify dirty water (Arslan & Şar, 2018). Through the elimination of water contaminants, green technology leads to several health benefits like the provision of more body energy throughout the day. During people’s daily activities, the bodies get tired and sluggish and as a result, individuals need to take water for refreshment of body tissues. Purified water in most cases gives out a pure and clean source of energy. Clean water allows one’s body to endure an exercise for a great and better life. For better health, one needs to exercise regularly. For better exercise, one must use pure and clean water from water purifiers. Clean water also ensures that one’s skin is healthier and growing. Research studies have shown that take of enough water helps both exterior and interior body organs as well as keeping the skin more beautiful (Arslan & Şar, 2018). Finally, clean water will help one in weight reduction. If one wants to lose a conservable chunk of their weight, taking water in a period of half an hour before every meal is advisable. In the end, the production of purified drinking water using green technology confer significant health advantages to humans.
Green logistics application in transport is due to its tendency to reduce energy consumption and emission. Packaging of transport associated waste might be costly to the business but its sustainability has become more important to firms and the public. For improvement of the brand image and environmental performance, more sustainable ways of delivering packaging and transport and designed containers are inevitable (Gülmez & Rad, 2017). Transport packaging is used to minimize the negative impacts that might occur in the environment while in transit. Wastes from these transport packaging are harmful and are not easily recycled, and may lead to landfill. Reuse can be done through the use of pallets and containers, thus reducing business waste.
Transport packaging also leads to cost-saving through the reduction of the cost of waste disposal and raw materials, handling and storage cost, and costs to be used when complying with regulations. The transport packaging approach which is more sustainable attracts more customers who value environmental responsibility as it will reflect a good image of the business. For one to win contracts, they must use environment clauses that are committed to reusable transport packaging. In today’s manufacturing market, both green transportation and green logistics have become the main topics (Gülmez & Rad, 2017). However, to acquire preventive measures in different countries, there must be various strategies. For instance, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland have been working hard to reduce oil and fuel consumption to minimize pollution in the environment (Gülmez & Rad, 2017). The use of green transportation boosts the growth of the company as well as reducing its overall costs of production. Also, an efficient transportation system will culminate inefficient logistics.
Green sourcing is how companies and individuals reduce or reutilize wastes. In most organizations, green sourcing ideally means that they have purchased all the items and manufacturing materials required for the smooth running of business free from pollution (Sharma et al., 2017). This green supply mostly creates positive impacts on the environment; for instance, pollution minimization. This is the first stage of sourcing where one will start by choosing the right manufacturer who is in a position of designing a product that is free from pollution, i.e. environmentally friendly. It provides lean manufacturing which will offer the best opportunities to the customers as they can get goods of high quality. Sourcing also has helped in solving business problems as well as improving speed in the market.
Most of the time it is somehow difficult for entities stakeholders to identify and to know what they need in the business. This is especially for companies that do not embrace enveloping, which encourages constructive competition. Business experts naturally develop a good relationship in their daily activities and through sourcing, they can establish different and fresh perspectives by asking questions. The result is often the creation of competitive advantage for their company. Sourcing is used in the persuasion of a proven process from a business perspective, and the extent to which an organization observes green logistics is paramount (Sharma et al., 2017). Ideally, any organization must take a step of ensuring that all materials purchased are environmentally friendly and must have maximum durability.
A great number of green warehousing equipment have promptly increased and have shifted their operations to green practices and have increased the time and cost allocation of firms. Management of inventories and warehousing are the greatest components of logistics operations (Paskannaya & Shaban, 2019). The warehouse is then used in green logistics in keeping enough amount of stock on the shelves which prevents wastage of the company’s materials. The outcome is a reduction of environmental impacts and low transportation expenses. A good inventory will decrease the costs of intangible and tangible goods as well as reducing the wastage of goods. Most companies across the world have discovered the advantages of green warehousing in logistic operations and have implemented them in the supply chain process (Sharma et al., 2017). The aim of implementing these practices in the manufacturing industry is to minimize environmental pollutions, carbon consumption as well as production cost. Also in the green logistic, there is a green design. Green design or ecological is a group of activities that applies the use of the product which are environmentally friendly. Green design will also lead to high-quality production, thus promoting the image of the company. Green design controls a great percentage of about 80% of the impacts on the environment (Chaoying & Nie, 2014). Accordingly, green design is helpful in aiding in the establishment of a clean and secure environment with reduced disposal cost, risk factors, and health safety.
Challenges Affecting Green Logistic
Although green logistic notions are common among Russian businesses, not all firms recognize the administrative work’s priorities as relates to green logistics. As much as countries try to implement green logistics, Albekov et al. (2017) noted that about 350 million tons of carbon dioxide are released yearly into the atmosphere from the vehicles used in logistics. While carbon dioxide is not the only emitted gas, Albekov et al. (2017) also observed that there is a release of about 150 million tons of sulfur and 50 million tons of different hydrocarbon to the atmosphere. Indeed, several enterprises find it demanding to exploit information and communication supply technologies, strategic development, and inclusive services leading to crises besides trade and economic constraints.
Challenges linked to green logistics differ from country to country on the basis of the existing technology. A nation like Russia burns about 1.2 to 1.5 million tons of lubricant and 110 to 115 million tons of fuel yearly (Albekov et al., 2017). The burn of these lubricants and fuel combined with other pollutants including crankcase gases, coolants, as well as operational materials contribute to a highly polluted environment. However, as noted in the literature, Russia has recognized the importance of making marketing moves of local solutions or projects utilizing green products. Russians are working on reducing the mileage in transportation as well as using environmentally-friendly vehicles (Albekov et al., 2017). In Russia, these practices are highly based on ISO 14000 to promote an effective environmental management system.
In recent years, the green logistic is not well known for its great degree of sustainability as it was known many years ago. Worldwide, most companies are facing challenges in implementing environmental policies mostly on the side of logistics. This is as a result of various causes such as last-mile deliveries, which impact mostly urban traffics, lack of supportive infrastructure, and greater use of fossil fuel, especially in the transport sector.
Discussion of New Solutions to the Problem
Countries need to execute green logistic measures to keep pace with environmental integrity demands. Implementation works, according to Ren et al. (2019), require a deep understanding of the field. Ren et al. (2019) noted that countries carry out research and the same is broadly distributed, particularly in North America, Asia, and Europe. Countries from these continents are performing well in the utilization of green logistics. For example, Mainland China and the United States have implemented a lot of green logistic measures. Research has shown that Mainland China as well as the U.S. has the largest number of publications and citations on the topic of green logistics.
There is also a need for improved planning, policy, as well as management of green logistic practices including research. When conducting research, countries should emphasize two important basic ideas of green logistics. First, there is a need for maintaining focus on the planning, development, the policymaking process from industrial levels. Next, nations require joining efforts in making strategies and management approaches from project levels. Additionally, Ren et al. (2019) specified that proper planning, as well as collaborations, will attract public support, partnership, stakeholders, and excellent management skills critical in accomplishing green logistics. The collaborations among metropolitan economy, industrial chain upgrading, and infrastructure investment are important in forming the foundation of green logistics.
Integrating freight practices into the overall planning procedure or transport designing is also important for the implementation of green logistics. Ren et al. (2019) proposed two strategies for initiating green logistics. First, it is essential to encourage public investment to promote development. Thereafter, policymakers must impose heavy taxes on carbon raw materials and others that act as dangerous pollutants to the environment. To reduce the challenges of green logistics implementation, the following approaches should be used. The first measure is the inclusion of eco-friendly criteria in the procurement policies. Eco-friendly criteria can be included when assessing the supplies proposals. The criteria may refer to manufacturing processes, product characteristics for instance limiting. Second, companies need to focus on the optimization of transport fleet management in the logistic chain as transport is the main carbon footprint. For the reduction of these challenges, the country should buy cleaner-running vehicles to reduce emissions.
The transport sectors should focus more on the chemical supply chain. According to Cichosz (2017), the supply of chemicals is the main logistic practice that might harm the environment. Cichosz (2017) proposed that chemical firms should depend on local strategic planning statements and join efforts with them when operating transport eco-efficiency. Industries should aim at making chemical logistics safer and greener. These aims could be achieved through energy and emission management, better transport planning, and shifting chemical road shipping to intermodal transportation (Cichosz, 2017). Additionally, logistic companies should focus on observing technological developments, environmental regulations, and efficiency goals. Cichosz (2017) noted that these approaches would ensure effective collaborations that promote the adoption of green logistics.
In conclusion, even though it might take some days before most companies adopt the ideas of green logistics fully, the present trend is promising. Governments also require embracing the approach completely by enacting laws to govern all transport systems after broad consultations with the concerned partners. Through developed strategies and policies, all un-answered problems regarding one that will bear the cost of extra environmental consideration because of green logistic processes will gain solutions. On that note, establishing and implementing green logistics might be costly at first, but businesses must note that this is a worthy investment, since not only does it create healthy ecosystems for current populations, but also ensure that the surrounding is protected for upcoming generations.
The green logistics issues have been widely discussed in peer-reviewed articles, and scientists have already examined research data from many studies. However, gaps in the literature still exist and need to be filled for crafting the optimal solution for the environmental problem. Firstly, there is no peer-reviewed information about the legislative systems that can establish policies forcing businesses to consider green transportation practices. Secondly, the lack of case studies about the world’s biggest supply chains’ sustainability solution leads to smaller companies making unnecessary mistakes in pursuing ecological decisions. Lastly, most of the green logistics studies examine the environmental harm in general, and only a few research papers are dedicated to certain damaging factors as carbon emission.
Gaps in literature align this research’s idea by limiting the possible approaches that could be offered to try by different companies worldwide. The lack of data about policymaking and regulation for such solutions is a considerable barrier in choosing the optimal strategy. Compounding the barriers to green logistics are the issues of temporary political agendas and decisions alongside the lasting company investments in logistics and transportation. Essentially, further research has to include the business owners’ view of the issues and their perception of ecological damage and economic demands that require to remain balanced.
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