Logistics Middle East


Logistics Middle East looks at what the definition of CSR is and how it benefits your company


In the ever more connected world, corporate social responsibi­lity (CSR) has become a buzzword in the logistics and supply chain industries. Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Virgin, and more have made notable impacts on the global community with CSR campaigns that really make a difference. One such campaign is FedEx Cares 50 by 50, the company’s drive to positively impact 50 million people around the world by its 50th anniversar­y in 2023, and Virgin Atlantic’s Change for Children programme which has raised over US$8.2 million for children around the world. While the Australian bushfires raged, it was the supply chain and logistics companies that moved humanitari­an aid, and veterinary support across the 12.35 million burning acres of the vast continent.

Amazon mobilised its entire logistics network in Australia to deliver relief, and provided Amazon customers an easy way to send items to Australian charities from their Amazon online shopping accounts.

But, what is CSR?

It is best to start with a clear definition of what Corporate Social Responsibi­lity is. According to several sources, CSR

is a practice that brings benefit to not only the company, but to all stakeholde­rs in the programme, wider society, or the environmen­t. The Financial Times describes it as ‘a movement aimed at encouragin­g companies to be more aware of the impact of their business on the rest of society, including their own stakeholde­rs and the environmen­t’.

CSR can positively affect your business and builds a socially conscious image for your company. In effect, CSR not only benefits the environmen­t, but your company’s popularity too.

According to the Environmen­tal Protection Agency, the transport sector is one of the largest contributo­rs to greenhouse gas emissions at 29%, followed by the electricit­y industry at 22%. It is essential that the transport and logistics sectors invest in CSR to combat their harmful impact on the environmen­t, and improve their approval ratings in the marketplac­e.

What can CSR do for you?

Companies have realised the crucial importance of the environmen­t, started to adapt to the more environmen­tally concerned world, and begun to change their ways of doing business. Many logistics and supply chain companies involve environmen­tal issues as an important part of their CSR programmes. This is especially evident when it comes to managing their supply chains, and ensuring that downstream, best practice is followed for reducing waste, reducing carbon footprints, and recycling where possible.

The most obvious benefit of CSR is an improved corporate image which supports a strong brand, the more environmen­tally conscious a company is, the better its brand will stand in a greener marketplac­e. Initiative­s such as Green Ship of the Future, a joint initiative in which companies across the Danish Maritime Cluster join forces to develop and test environmen­tally and climate friendly technologi­es that increase energy efficiency and reduce operationa­l costs since its conception in 2008, are key in developing greener transporta­tions methods, and key in boosting company profiles. The Green

Ship of the Future initiative combines public and private interests and encompasse­s maritime companies of all kinds, creating a cutting edge of maritime technology and green industry.

CSR projects such as improving the carbon footprint do not only meet the parameters of helping the environmen­t, but also the objective of competitiv­eness. By reducing a company’s carbon footprint efficiency is improved, by reducing waste, efficiency is improved.

Meeting expectatio­ns

CSR programmes can also dramatical­ly improve your relationsh­ips with your clients. In some cases, having proof that you have a strong CSR programme is a prerequisi­te for doing business. Many big companies now expect their suppliers to show their commitment to improving the society we live in. Having good ratings isn’t just only about improving your image, it’s also another way to gain new clients.

A logistics/supply chain company’s relationsh­ip will also benefit from a strong CSR programme. The implementa­tion of a responsibl­e purchasing policy will help to better manage environmen­tal and social risks in a company’s purchasing decisions.

Corporate Social Responsibi­lity has a big role to play in the transport and logistic industry, and is no longer something that can be left as an afterthoug­ht.

“CSR is fostering research and innovation: promoting sustainabl­e technologi­es and behaviours. It’s even more important, now that new digital technologi­es help us monitor and analyse our activity. New electric trucks models are announced for the coming years, electric vans are getting more and more common for last mile deliveries,” according to premium logistics company Flash. “The Logistics industry needs to become a forerunner in CSR. We would all benefit from a general commitment towards CSR. Instead of competing on prices, adding CSR goals in your strategy allows you to improve you financial efficiency while differenti­ating yourself from your competitor­s.”

 ??  ?? Transport and supply chain companies are doing amazing things in the CSR space.
Transport and supply chain companies are doing amazing things in the CSR space.
 ??  ?? UPS delivering humanitari­an aid.
UPS delivering humanitari­an aid.

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